Make me coach,I can deliver results in 1 year: Pillay

Former captain Dhanraj Pillay has expressed his desire to be the coach of the Indian hockey team and claims that if given a free hand he can deliver results in within a year

Written by Press Trust Of India | Published: July 23, 2013 1:01 am

Former captain Dhanraj Pillay has expressed his desire to be the coach of the Indian hockey team and claims that if given a free hand he can deliver results in within a year. Pillay is not in favour of a foreign coach for Indian hockey and insists that there is no dearth of good coach in the country.

“Indian hockey does not need a foreign coach. We have been spending a lot of money on foreign coaches but from Gerhard Rach (in 2004 Athens) to Micheal Nobbs (2012 London Olympics),the outcome is the same. Indian hockey is back to square one and we are now struggling to qualify for the World Cup,” Pillay said.

“India has no dearth of talent as far as good coaches are concerned. Give me the charge and I promise to deliver results in one year provided I am given a free hand,” said the legendary striker who is the coach of Air India,the current national champion side. “There are instances in the past when coach of the national championship winning side was given the charge of senior men’s team. There are many examples like Cedric D’souza,Vasudevan Bhaskaran,Rajinder Singh or Harendra Singh. Then why not me?”

The chief coach’s post of the Indian hockey team is presently lying vacant after the unceremonious exit of Micheal Nobbs recently. Hockey India has made Roelant Oltmans the temporary coach along side MK Kaushik. The Indian team has to win next month’s Asia Cup to qualify for the World Cup,which will be held in Holland next year.

Pillay,however,said that only an Indian coach can understand Indian players well. “About 50 to 60 per cent hockey players in India are not highly qualified. They don’t understand the english of foreign coaches and have to depend on interpreters. Foreign coaches also bring their own support staff along with them,” he said.

“We taught world how to play hockey and now our hockey depends on foreign experts. Indian players are matured enough and they don’t need to learn the game. Indian hockey needs an expert who can encourage them to do well as a unit,” he said. Pillay is not very appreciative about Indian hockey’s High Performance Director Roelant Oltmans with whom he has worked in the inaugural Hockey India League.

“If Oltmans is such a capable coach,why did he fail to win the title for UP Wizards in HIL where he himself chose his team,” he said. He is also not too optimistic about India’s chances in the Asia Cup which they need to win to qualify for the next year’s World Cup. “It is going to be really tough. India needs a miracle to win the title,” Pillay concluded.

Pillay was the manager of the Indian team in 2009 and was the technical director of Uttar Pradesh Wizards in the inaugural edition of the Hockey India League. Curiously enough,the coach of the Uttar Pradesh Wizards team was Oltmans,whom Pillay has criticised. He was also the coach of the Air India team that won the national championships in Pune last month. His hopes of becoming the coach of the national side do not seem likely to materialise as Hockey India has already announced that they will hire another foreign coach to replace Nobbs.

Mumbai Port Trust beat Air India ‘B’

Meanwhile,Mumbai Port Trust beat Air India ‘B’ 6-3 in the Senior Division Final of the Mumbai Hockey Association Limited (MHAL) League for the season 2012-13 held at the MHAL Mahindra Stadium,D-Road,Churchgate. MPT lifted the trophy and took home a prize money of Rs.50,000. Runners up Air India ‘B’ settled with trophy and prize money of Rs.30,000.

Amir Khan scored two goals for MPT in the 10th and 41st minute to keep his side in a commanding position. Shridhar K,Ashutosh L,Ashish and Digvijay Naik scored a goal each for Mumbai Port Trust. Davinder Kumar (59th &65th minutes) and Jarryd Nunes scored for Air India ‘B’.

Former India coach Clarence Lobo was the chief gues and presented the trophy and prize money.

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