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No need for specialist penalty-corner coach: Carvalho

July 14, 2007 22:20 IST
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Striking a different note from that of the Indian Hockey Federation bigwigs, national coach Joaquim Carvalho on Saturday said there is no need to rope in a foreigner to improve the team's penalty-corner conversions.

"I don't believe we need a specialist (foreign) coach for penalty-corner conversions. Don't you have faith in me?," Carvalho said, after he was felicitated by film star Jackie Shroff in Mumbai.

"We are working hard on our penalty-corner conversions and we will get there soon. Sandeep Singh and Dilip Tirkey have scored and are doing well," the 1984 Olympian said.

His views on the need for a specialist coach to tone-up India's penalty-corner conversion rate was in conflict with those of IHF chief K P S Gill.

Gill had earlier in the day in Delhi said that the IHF is seriously thinking about hiring a penalty-corner expert who can shore up this vital aspect of the game in which the squad was found wanting at the recent Champions Challenge tournament in Belgium, where it finished third.

The team had recently trained under Dutch penalty-corner expert Toon Siepman for a couple of sessions during the practice stint in Germany before going to Belgium and had gained some tips on indirect conversions.

Siepman has polished drag-flickers like Bram Lomans of the Netherlands, Santi Freixa of Spain and Sohail Abbas of Pakistan in the past.

Talking about the Indian team's performance as whole since he took over a few months ago, Carvalho said a platform has been laid for the team to improve further.

"I'm no magician, but, yes, we have done fairly well in the last two months since I have taken over.

"We have not achieved great laurels yet. I'm not satisfied and we have a long way to go. But we have laid the platform," the former half-back said after being felicitated at the Goregaon Sports Club in north Mumbai.

Present on the occasion was his protege and four-time Olympian Dhanraj Pillay, erstwhile teammate Mervyn Fernandis, Gavin Ferreira and Viren Rasquinha.

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