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IHF may appoint foreign coach
October 12, 2006 19:15 IST
Saddled by a string of poor performances, the Indian Hockey Federation might consider appointing a foreign coach again after the Asian Games in Doha in December.
IHF president K P S Gill said they will look at the possibility after assessing the team's performance at the Games.
Asked whether the IHF would go for a foreign coach, especially in the backdrop of the poor showing of the Indian team at the World Cup in Germany, Gill said the Federation would make a decision after assessing the national side's performance at the 15th Asian Games.
"It will depend on the Asian Games," the IHF supremo said at a press conference in New Delhi to announce the dates of the 62nd Senior National Championship.
IHF has not had a happy experience with the only foreign coach they appointed a couple of years.
Germany's Gerhard Rach quit his post in a huff but not before launching a verbal tirade against the IHF bosses.
Gill, for a change, did not sound very enthusiastic about the national team's chances at the Asian Games.
"It's very difficult to say. Because some top teams like Pakistan and Korea will be there. Besides, an emerging side like Japan, who finished above us at the World Cup at ninth spot, will also be there," said Gill.
The IHF chief said the Indian team would focus on their techniques after the Asian Games.
"We were good at the Azlan Shah tournament. But our performance in the World Cup was not so good. The coach has said that we are yet to work out on techniques on long-term basis. So we will do that after the Asian Games," he said.
India finished a poor 11th in the 12-team World Cup held in Germany last month.
Gill said three players, including goalkeeper Adrian D'souza, would be picked from the ongoing camp in Rourkela to play the senior nationals.
"Three players from the camp in Rourkela will be sent for the nationals. Adrian will be one of them. After getting some match practice, he will come back to the camp," he said.
Gill said the players who would display outstanding performance in the senior nationals could be picked in the Asian Games squad.
The IHF president said since getting sponsors for hockey tournaments is a tough job, it is difficult to popularise the sport in the country.
"We do not have as many funds as BCCI. In cricket, [Punjab Cricket Association chief] I S Bindra started the money making process. However, some sponsors are coming to us and things [like Premier Hockey League and sponsors for Senior Nationals] are happening," he said.
Gill unveiled the logo of the Senior Nationals, to be sponsored for five years by the Dainik Bhaskar newspaper, on the occasion.
The Nationals will be held in three phases. In phase one, 37 affiliated state units, divided into eight groups, will play league matches and two teams from each group will qualify for the knockout stage.
These 16 teams will play knockout matches and eight will qualify for the super league.
In the second phase, 14 associate members, divided into four groups, will play league matches in Delhi from October 20. One side from each group will qualify to take part in the super league.
Altogether 12 teams will vie for the title at the super league stage, which will be played at Jalandhar from October 28 to November 3.
Pool A (Jalandhar): Punjab, Universities, Maharashtra, Bihar, Chhattisgarh.
Pool B (Amritsar): Railways, Andhra Pradesh, Andaman and Nicobar, Patiala, Pondicherry.
Pool C (Jalandhar): Karnataka, Mumbai, Manipur, Vidarbha, Madhya Pradesh.
Pool D (Amritsar): Chandigarh, Hyderabad, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Uttaranchal.
Pool E (Bhani Sahib): Indian Airlines, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Nagaland.
Pool F (Ludhiana): Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Bhopal.
Pool G (Bhani Sahib): Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, Tripura.
Pool H (Ludhiana): Services, Kerala, Haryana, Mizoram.
Associate Members (Qualifiers at New Delhi):
Pool A: PSB, CISF, Customs.