Australian Terry Walsh is set to be appointed as head coach of the Indian men's hockey team after the Sports Authority of India recommended his name to the Sports Ministry.
SAI Director General Jiji Thomson said that Walsh's name has been forwarded to the Sports Ministry and his appointment will be cleared in a week's time.
Thomson said the SAI has recommended a monthly salary of Australian dollar 12,500 for Walsh, who was a part of Australia's silver-winning team in 1976 Montreal Olympics.
"Walsh's name has been recommended to the Sports Ministry by SAI. His CV impressed us the most. We have fixed his remuneration at Aus Dollar 12,500. It's now up to the Ministry to take a call on his appointment. May be, in a week's time, his appointment would be cleared," Thomson said.
"Nobbs was getting Aus Dollar 11,000 and Walsh has been offered a thousand and five hundred more than him," he added.
Thomson did not divulge Walsh's appointment details but sources said that the Australian's contract will run till 2016 Rio Olympics but with the rider that his performance will be reviewed every three months.
"His contract will run till 2016 Olympics but there will be quarterly review of his performance in a year," the source said.
Former Australia and Holland coach Walsh was the front-runner for the job but there were indications earlier that Oltmans, who was the interim coach after Australian Nobbs resigned in July, would be made the permanent coach.
However, the SAI DG said Oltmans will continue to discharge his duty as High Performance Director.
"Oltmans will remain High Performance Director," said Thomson.
It was also learnt that Walsh's name was recommended by Oltmans on his return from Europe after a holiday break.
Walsh was last seen in the role of Technical Director of USA Hockey. He left the position at the end of last year.
Thomson said that the Sports Ministry is expected to clear the appointment of 10 foreign coaches very soon.
"There are 10 foreign coaches' appointments still pending with the Ministry. Roelant Oltmans as Hockey India's High Performance Director, Walsh as head coach, then there are gymnastics, volleyball, Archery foreign coaches whose appointments are pending with the Ministry. I believe all these will be cleared in a week's time," he said.
The SAI DG also said he would like to see a High Performance Director for every Olympic sport and it would help in making the country a sporting powerhouse.
"It's just a proposal, a thought to have a High Performance Director for every Olympic sport in the country. Like we have Oltmans for hockey, there should be such directors for every Olympic sports. There is another thought of having one high performance director overseeing every Olympic sport and its progress," said Thomson.
On the issue of two archers from Arunachal Pradesh being issued stapled visas by the Chinese Embassy, Thomson said, "It's really disappointing. SAI can't do anything but the MEA should take up this matter with their Chinese counterparts. The wrong has been done to our archers."
Thomson also supported BSFI-orgnanised World Snooker Indian Open tournament taking place in the capital and said it will help raise the profile of the game in the country.
"We support these tournaments which help in raising the profile of these games in the country. It's a great initiative by the BSFI and we should all thank them for bringing major ranking snooker event to the country. But all such tournaments are subjected to budgetary constraints. Cue sport is not an Olympic sport so we have to see how can we help," he said.
Image: Terry Walsh
Photograph: Tony McDonough/ALLSPORT