Hockey India has appointed former captain Jude Felix Sebastian as the coach of the Indian junior men’s hockey team on Tuesday. The junior men’s team has recently performed well in Europe, which also included nine players from last year’s World Cup winning team.
The director of India’s High Performance, David John, has highlighted a point where he says that different programmes started by Hockey India, five-six years back, have helped in bringing more new talent and the junior players are giving their best to clinch their spot in the senior team.
The new coach Felix will train with the 33-member junior men’s team to defend their World Championship title. Expressing his views on Felix’s appointment, John said, “Jude Felix brings with him vast experience as former India captain as well as a highly reputed coach. Under him, we want to strengthen the junior core group.”
“With Hockey India’s programmes structured to bring good results in the 2020 and 2024 Olympic Games, I would expect players from this junior core group to push the seniors for a spot in the team,” he added.
While playing for the Indian team, Felix used to be an important half-back in the side. He also received Arjuna Award in 1995 while he was the captaining the side. His captaincy tenure included the 1993 World Cup and 1994 Asian Games.
He featured in more than 250 international matches, and has played for India in two World Cups and two Asian Games, in 1990 and 1994. He has also represented the country in three Champions Trophies, in the year 1985, 1987 and 1989. In 1997, he also coached the Netherlands U-18 team.
In 2014, Felix also assisted the head coach of the national team, “I am excited to take up this new role. The junior core group was picked on the basis of their performance in the National Championships and this group will be further pruned down to a 18-member squad for the Sultan of Johor Cup, our first international tournament for this year,” said Felix.