Following a report in a section of the media on Sunday, Indian hockey chief coach Joaquim Carvalho clarified that he is not against appointing a penalty-corner specialist coach and reiterated that he and the Indian Hockey Federation had already discussed the issue and decided that the national squad needs one on a short-term basis.
"I am surprised as to how statements have arrived about me being against a penalty-corner coach. Instead, I already have had discussions with IHF officials and a need for a penalty-corner drag-flick specialist has been planned for a short duration and not on a long-term basis, which is the need of the hour," Carvalho explained in Mumbai on Sunday, a day after he was felicitated by film star Jackie Shroff and former MP Sanjay Nirupam.
"A drag-flick specialist coach, more than a penalty-corner coach, is what the IHF and I have discussed. Hence, all this talk of I differing with (IHF president) Mr KPS Gill is absolutely untrue and utter nonsense," he added.
In addition, the coach said, there was never a moment at the felicitation function when he said that the Indian team had missed experienced players in the form of Deepak Thakur and Gagan Ajit Singh.
"In fact, we don't need to go backward. We already have experienced players in the form of Dilip Tirkey, Tushar Khandekar, Rajpal Singh, Prabjot Singh and captain Prabodh Tirkey. My team is doing fine and I have confidence in them," he explained.
Carvalho added: "As for the penalty-corner coach from the Netherlands, Toon Siepman, it was I who met up with him in Germany during our training camp prior to the Champions Challenge and requested him to come to India to conduct brief penalty-corner specialist stints for selected penalty-corner players."
Carvalho revealed that the IHF is also scouting and have in mind penalty-corner drag-flick specialist coaches to further improve the Indian team's quality drag-flickers Sandeep Singh and Raghunath, as well as to mould talented players to take over and step into the senior ranks.
"We, the coaching staff of the team and the IHF officials, have been working in tandem to bring the best results possible while focusing on building a young side. Hence, these reports quoting me in a section of the media does not arise in the first place," he emphasised.
"I hope this sets right the untrue, mischievous and irresponsible reporting. I once again would like to emphasise that I have not made any such statements to this effect and I answered only questions that were asked," Carvalho clarified.