Right time to appoint a coach for Indian team: Michael Nobbs

Mumbai: Former India hockey coach Michael Nobbs said it was perhaps a good time to appoint a home grown product to take up the national coach’s job ahead of the Rio Olympic Games, for which the squad has already qualified.

“I wouldn’t worry about the coaches — they come and go. The real key are the players. Hockey India is doing a great job. Why not put an Indian coach for the job? You have 18 months to go. You are the first team to qualify for the Olympics. Why not give someone from India a chance,” the Australian told reporters here today.

Nobbs, who is on a visit to India on behalf of Australian company Grassman that produces wet and dry artificial hockey turfs, however felt Hockey India was unlikely to pay heed to his suggestion.

Naming a few who he thought could do the coaching job well, Nobbs said: “You have Cedric D’souza, M K Kaushik, Harendra Singh and Jude Felix and I am sure there are many more. Harendra is now an FIH (recognised) coach. It is just my suggestion to select an Indian coach but they (HI) are not going to accept it. They will go with a foreign coach. That’s okay as well. You have to be optimistic and go forward.”

Nobbs, who coached the country before his compatriot Terry Walsh took over, was happy with the progress made by the Indian men’s hockey team since his departure and predicted it will ascend the medal rostrum at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

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