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Hockey captain Rajpal wants Australian coach

Source: PTI
December 07, 2010 15:23 IST

His unsavoury relationship with Jose Brasa, notwithstanding, India hockey captain Rajpal Singh is still in favour of a foreign coach but advised Hockey India to take cue from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) while selecting the coaching staff of the national team.

Rajpal said the national federation should adopt a more professional approach in the selection process and said personally he wants an Australian coach for the team.

"Instead of randomly picking anybody, Hockey India should invite applications for the post of chief coach just like the BCCI. The coach can be a foreigner or Indian but what matters is his performance and attitude towards players. Personally, I am in favour of Australian coach," Rajpal said.

"The Indian cricket team is hugely successful because they have professionally chosen support staff. We should adopt this in hockey also to avoid any controversy in future," he said.

Incidentally, the senior men's hockey team is without a coach after the Asian Games where they won the bronze medal.

National coach Harendra Singh had tendered his resignation immediately after India's shocking 3-4 defeat at the hands Malaysia while chief coach Brasa's contract has expired and is unlikely to be renewed.

Interestingly, Rajpal's recent statement could further jeopardise Harendra's chances of becoming the head coach of the team as he had already irked some HI officials with his resignation drama during the Asian Games.

Harendra's subsequent statement in the media that he is ready to reconsider his resignation if given full authority of the team has also not gone down well with the office bearers of the national federation.

But Rajpal declined to make any specific comment when asked about Harendra's efficiency as national coach.

"In the last 18 months Brasa was fully incharge of everything, so it is hard to comment on national coach as he hardly had anything to do. I think national coach should also be selected like the chief coach," he said.

Rajpal said whoever the coach is, a foreigner or an Indian, he should be offered a long-term contract.

"I think a coach should be awarded contract for atleast 10 years so that he can prepare a team in a better way," he said.

Rajpal also voted in favour of a foreign trainer and sports psychologist for the team.

"We also need a foreign trainer as the trainers in India are not that good," said the Indian captain, who had accused Brasa of humiliating him during the World Cup earlier this year.

"Definitely, sport psychologist will help us a lot and we need one," he added.

Rajpal also rubbished team-mate Dhananjay Mahadik's accusation that he deliberately underperformed during the Asian Games.

"His allegations are baseless and I can counter them but I don't want to give importance to him. One thing is clear that nobody can under perform while playing for the country. It is an honour for anyone to lead the country," he said.

"Have you heard any cricketer of accusing his team-mates. They never do it and this is one of the key reason for their success. We should take a lesson from them," Rajpal added.

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