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Dhanraj Pillay wants to be the coach of Indian hockey team

Indian captain Dhanraj Pillay (L) believes only an Indian coach can turn around the fortunes of the Indian hockey team

Former Indian hockey captain Dhanraj Pillay says he could deliver the results expected from Indian hockey team if he is appointed as the coach and given a free hand.

Pillay said: “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) to Micheal Nobbs (in 2012), the outcome is the same. Indian hockey is back to square one and we are now struggling to qualify for the World Cup.

“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 the 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 and Harendra Singh. Then why not me?”

While Hockey India has made it clear that they are looking for a foreign coach again, Pillay believes only an Indian coach can understand Indian players.

He added: “About 50 to 60 percent hockey players in India are not highly qualified. They don’t understand the English foreign coaches speak and have to depend on interpreters. Foreign coaches also bring their own support staff along with them.

“We taught the 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.”

On the appointment of Roelant Oltmans as Indian hockey’s High Performance Director, he said: “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.”

When asked about India’s chances in Asia Cup, Pillay concluded by saying: “It is going to be really tough. India need a miracle to win the title.”

Source:  The Hindu

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