The change in coaching staff of the senior and junior men’s teams might not end with Harendra Singh.
Hockey India has also put Harendra’s assistant Chris Ciriello on ‘review’ while all Indian trainers associated with the team have been instructed to do FIH coaching courses to continue being a part of the set-up.
Hockey India is also on the lookout for a foreign coach for the junior team, in case Harendra doesn’t accept their offer.
Last Wednesday, Hockey India sacked Harendra as the chief coach of the senior men’s team and ‘advised’ him to train the colts instead. In its statement, the governing body stated ‘the mercurial rise’ of junior players and Harendra’s ‘abilities of grooming youngsters’ as the ‘key reasons to arrive at this recommendation.’
However, in a letter to Sports Authority of India director general Neelam Kapur, Hockey India president Mohammad Mushtaque Ahmad said: ‘Mr Harendra Singh should return to the junior men team to gain more experience and expertise’.
The high performance and development committee added: “In case he does not agree to go with the junior men team, then we have to look for a good coach from outside of India for the 2021 Junior Men World Cup.”
Regarding Ciriello, the former Australian drag-flicker who won the 2014 World Cup, the committee expressed its concern that his work ‘has not yet translated into visible results.’ Ciriello was roped in last year as an analytical coach.
“(sic) Members have recommended that Mr Chris Cirello is placed on review and that his performance is reviewed in 5 months which is after the World Series Final is completed on 16 June 2019,” the committee noted in the minutes of the meeting, which was held on January 7.
The committee has also recommended that Indian coaches who are attached with the national team should obtain a ‘minimum of FIH Level 1 Coaching’ in the next six months to remain with the programme.