After leading the junior men’s hockey team to World Cup glory at home last year, Harendra Singh is set to apply for the vacant senior men’s team coach job and says that he will be submitting his application after doing all the “home work.” If selected, this will be Harendra’s second stint with the senior team as he was coach of the team back in 2009 to 2011.
“Yes, I will definitely apply, there is no ambiguity in it. But I will submit my application after doing all the home work. I am willing to take over and I promise I will deliver to the expectations of the countrymen,” Harendra told PTI.
“I have 21 years of coaching experience and I am going to prepare a blueprint for 2020. My target is always to win a medal in any tournament because I am a desh bhakt (patriot) and I always want to see the tri-colour flying high. A foreign coach will have to start from the scratch,” he added.
Harendra also said that Hockey India will find it difficult to ignore his application as his credentials are good and he knows the hockey players “inside out.” He also said that apart from Ric Charlesworth, he will not work under any other foreign coach.
“They (HI) can’t ignore me now. I think I’m 100 per cent in the league of the top foreign coaches of the world. But I want to make it clear that I won’t work under any foreign coach except for Ric Charlesworth. A foreign coach will not be aware of all the players. But I know these group of players in and out,” he said.
Harendra said that he knows India’s High Performance director David John for long but he won’t like to predict anything for now.
“John knows me since 2011. We have worked together. We have a very good understanding but I won’t like to predict anything. Let’s wait and watch,” said Harendra.
Hockey India removed Roelant Oltmans as the head coach eyeing non-performance and Harendra that it was a right but late decision.
“The decision was a right one but I feel HI was a little late. Every team appoints a coach from Olympic cycle to cycle and a new coach now will take time to adjust,” he said.
“One thing is for sure Oltmans changed a lot of things in Indian hockey. He has changed the thinking of players, pattern of play and training system,” said Harendra, who along with Oltmans guided India to Junior World Cup title last year in Lucknow.
“A coach has to be accountable. He or she should not be made to relax and complacent. Foer this to happen perks and luxury of a coach should be made result oriented,” he said.