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Coach's tenure must be 4-5 years: Rajinder

July 08, 2005 17:49 IST

India's senior hockey team coach Rajinder Singh (Junior) showered praise on up and coming youngster Sandeep Singh, saying he is doing well and could help uplift Indian hockey.

"Many players in the senior team fail to trap the ball which is the basic. There is such a dearth of talent that even such players find a place in Indian team. But as far as penalty-corners are concerned Sandeep Singh is doing well and perhaps he can lead the upsurge in Indian hockey," Rajinder Singh said on Friday.

The coach said European countries have an edge over India because of their strength in penalty-corner conversions, which becomes the deciding factor in the last few minutes in close matches.

"It is often said that the Indian hockey team loses matches in last minutes despite taking the lead. That is true, but the difference lies in the fact that most of the other teams, especially the European teams, are strong in areas of penalty-corners and goalkeeping, which matters the most in the last few minutes.

"Unfortunately, Indians do not have penalty-corner experts and, as a result, forwards try to score instead of trying to earn penalty-corners," he said.

Rajinder feels the Indian team must have an Indian coach, but he should be given a free hand and tenure of 4-5 years.

"If you see the matches the Indians played under German coach Gerhard Rach, you would realise that the Indians were totally defensive, forgetting their traditional attacking game. For how long one can defend? If the IHF wants to shift to European style they should do it from school or college level," Rajinder said.

"It is a job full of responsibilities. You have to coordinate, motivate and produce results too," he said.

"Any coach, foreign or Indian, should be given a tenure of at least four to five years. No coach can produce results in short period," he added.

The former Olympian said everyone in the country wants a quick remedy for Indian hockey.

"We need a magic wand to transform Indian hockey. We don't have talent at grassroot level. How many players do we produce at school, college and university level. We have to create a strong base. Otherwise, even ten coaches can do nothing."

He also reacted strongly to incidents of violence between Punjab Police players, and blamed it on poor umpiring.

"Such incidents of violence generate due to poor umpiring. We are far behind other countries as far as umpiring is concerned."

He was all praise for the national hockey league.

"It will be good for up and coming Indian players to play with international players but there should be more of European players," he added.

Rajinder also criticized the attitude of some youngsters, saying they lack motivation.

"As soon as they get jobs they feel satisfied. But some seniors, like Dhanraj Pillay,l have exceptional attitude and motivation and that is why they have survived for so long," he said.

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