Pillay wants longer term for Carvalho

Criticising IHF for frequent chopping and changing, Dhanraj Pillay on Tuesday favoured a two to three-year term for new chief coach Joaquim Carvalho.

updated: April 11, 2007 14:11 IST
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Criticising the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) for frequent chopping and changing, ageing hockey star Dhanraj Pillay on Tuesday favoured a two to three-year term for new chief coach Joaquim Carvalho.

"It's not right to change coaches every now and then. I think henceforth the IHF will not go for such frequent changes. Carvalho should be given two-three years time. It takes time to groom quality players," said Pillay, who is here to participate in the Beighton Cup for his employers Indian Airlines.

Describing Carvalho's appointment as a 'positive development', Pillay said, "He is rich on experience. He has trained many quality players like Harinder Singh and Patterson. I have also benefitted by training under him."

Baskaran sacked

Continuing with their hire and fire policy, the IHF last month sacked Vasudevan Baskaran following an unending streak of dismal performances of the national team under him and handed the post of chief coach to Carvalho.

Carvalho and his coaching team has been given a tenure upto the Olympic qualifiers, with the IHF making it clear that they were looking for a foreign coach keeping in mind long-term targets.

Pillay, however, strongly opposed the idea of appointing any foreign coach.

"What will a foreign coach teach us? What will we learn from him which our former players can't teach us? India have had such a rich tradition in hockey.

"We have so many famed former players who have helped the country win laurels in Olympics, World Cup and Asian Games. They can guide us very well," he said.

Pilllay said the IHF should make performance in the Premier Hockey League the yardstick for selection to the national team.

"The cream of Indian hockey players participate in the PHL. We see such wonderful hockey in the event. So, I think the teams should be chosen from among them", he said.

"All the senior players who did well in the recent PHL edition should be brought back into the national squad," he said.

On the forthcoming Sultan Azlan Shah tournament, Pillay said, "Malaysia has been a happy hunting ground for us. I don't know the strength of other teams. But I am confident that the team will do well."

Asked about the functioning of the IHF, with which he has had a lot of run-ins in the past, Pillay said, "It will serve no purpose if we go on blaming the likes of (IHF president) K P S Gill and (secretary) K Jothilkumaran.

"I had also said so many times in the past that I am not happy with the IHF. But if people read in the newspaper all the time that we are criticising the duo, then they will think that we are not doing anything constructive," he said.