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Brasa keen to continue working with Indian hockey

Source: PTI
November 08, 2010 08:25 IST
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He is miffed with the system here and considers it to be the toughest challenge he is facing. But chief hockey coach Jose Brasa still wants to prolong his association with the Indian team.

After the recent success in the Commonwealth Games, where India bagged the silver medal, Brasa now has 2012 London Olympic in his sight although the Spaniard's contract expires on Nov 30.

But Brasa, who had earlier decided to leave the job after the expiry of his contract, now wants to stay with the team provided his Project India is implemented properly.

"Renewal of contract is not in my hand but definitely I want to prolong my stay here provided the system becomes more professional and things get better.

Jose Brasa"India has the potential to be in the top league. It's just a matter of having proper and professional system. If my Project India gets implemented, then I am more then happy to be with the team," Brasa said.

After India's disappointing eighth place finish in the World Cup earlier this year, Brasa had unveiled the roadmap for Indian hockey's revival and demanded more control in the day-to-day running of the team.

Brasa's next assignment is the Asian Games and the Spaniard is optimistic about India's chances in the November 12-27 event in Guangzhou, China.

"If we play the same level of hockey we played against Pakistan and England in Delhi Commonwealth Games, we will be in the final for sure. All the players know how important the gold medal in Asian Games is," he said.

He also felt that the silver medal in the Delhi Games is just the beginning of a long journey.

"It's just a beginning. We should not think much about it. Our target is London Olympic 2012 and for that we must win the gold in Asian Games. We will have two full years for preparation and will not have to go through the qualification round. It is very important for the revival of Indian hockey," said Brasa.

Brasa had witnessed many positive changes in the team since he had taken over in June 2009.

"Indian players are immensely talented. I have seen a lot of improvement in them as far as technique and fitness are concerned. Their passing, men to men marking, dribbling is better now.

"Of course there are some areas of concern which will be taken care of. They can beat any team on their day. I strongly feel that India can be in the top league provided the game is run in a better way here," he said.

Brasa also conceded that working in India has been the toughest challenge for him.

"It is very difficult to work here since you don't know that what is going to happen the next day. For example we didn't know that which support staff is going to be with us to Guangzhou on the eve of our departure. Even I did not know that whether I was going or not. It is very tough to chart out a long-term plan in these conditions," Brasa said.

Brasa said that despite several problems the passion of Indian players is commendable.

"We did not get enough international exposure prior to the Asian Games. Similarly, there was no hard test before the World Cup or CWG. There are many hurdles other then this also but I must appreciate the players are working hard to achieve results in such circumstances. I want to stay for them as I have full faith in their abilities," said the veteran coach.
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