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Rediff.com  » Sports » Under-performing coach Nobbs sacked by Hockey India

Under-performing coach Nobbs sacked by Hockey India

July 09, 2013 13:25 IST

Under-performing Nobbs sacked by Hockey India

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Australian Michael Nobbs has been unceremoniously sacked as Indian hockey team's chief coach due to non-performance.

He is now the fourth foreign coach to be shown the door before completion of a full tenure.

Hockey India Secretary General Narinder Batra said that Nobbs's contract has been terminated and he is presently serving a one-month notice period. Roelant Oltmans, who is currently the High Performance Manager, has been given charge of the team until a new coach is appointed.

Batra, however, claimed it was the Australian who decided to quit as he felt that he was not doing justice to his job.

"He himself had offered to resign during a meeting with Roelant Oltmans. There were some issues with his coaching style. Oltmans felt there were some areas in which we were lacking and Nobbs was not being able to rectify them and not producing the desired results," Batra told PTI.

"Accordingly, we have informed the Sports Authority of India (SAI) that we are not willing to avail his services anymore. For the time being Oltmans will take the additional responsibility of coach of the men’s team. He will be in charge of the team till we find a suitable replacement which might take 2 to 3 months," he added.


Image: Michael Nobbs
Photographs: Laxmi Negi/Rediff.com

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Nobbs failed to change Indian hockey team's fortunes

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Nobbs, who took over the charge in 2011, was offered a five-year contract and a handsome salary, but his association with the Indian hockey lasted merely two years and finally ended on a bitter note.

Before Nobbs, Spaniard Jose Brasa, Australian Ric Charlesworth and Germany's Gerhard Rach coached the Indian side but were pushed out due to several issues.

Nobbs was looked upon as someone who could help Indian hockey regain lost glory, but the Australian failed to change the fortunes of the past masters of the game.

The only highlight of Nobbs's tenure was India's qualification for last year's London Olympics after having missed the Beijing edition of the Games.

But there was no significant change in the performance of the team as eight-time champions returned with a wooden spoon from the London Olympics.

Nobbs came under further scrutiny after India failed to book a direct ticket for the World Cup in The Hague, Netherlands scheduled for May-June, 2014, finishing a lowly sixth out of eight teams in last month's FIH World League semi-final at Rotterdam.


Image: Coach Michael Nobbs with the Indian team
Photographs: Jeff Gross/Getty Images

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'We felt he was not motivated anymore'

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Hinting that Hockey India was not impressed with Nobbs's performance, Batra said it was a mutual decision to part ways with the Australian.

Batra said there was no point in continuing with a coach who lacks motivation and commitment.

"We felt he was not motivated anymore. He seemed to have been lacking in motivation as well as commitment. A national team can’t be coached by somebody who is not motivated and committed," the HI secretary general said.

"So both parties felt it was time for us to move on."

Batra said Nobbs is presently at home in Australia and HI will give him a "graceful" farewell once he returns next week to settle his papers.

"He is presently in Australia. He is coming back on July 14th. It is not that we are pushing him out. We will send him in a graceful manner," he said.


Image: Michael Nobbs
Photographs: Laxmi Negi/Rediff.com

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