Hockey India to appoint high performance manager


New Delhi - In the aftermath of the London debacle, Hockey India (HI) on Wednesday decided to appoint a high performance manager, who will oversee the affairs of all the teams.

HI is in talks with some candidates and the high performance manager would be appointed by October.

“We are in talks with some candidates and hopefully by mid-October the high performance manager will be appointed. He will be in charge of all the teams and all the coaches including Michael Nobbs and Neil Hawgood will be reporting to him,” said HI secretary general Narinder Batra, while unveiling the report on the steps taken by HI on the occasion of the birthday of Dhyan Chand.

Asked if the appointment was a step towards clipping the wings of Nobbs, Batra said: “Not at all. Nobbs was well aware of the fact that he would be working under a high performance manager at some point of time. It is nothing new for him. A high performance manager might be new for Indian hockey but not for other countries. The high performance manager will also be a part of the selection process but the coach will still enjoy the veto power in selection.”

Batra also said that Nobbs shouldn’t have criticised the team during the Olympic Games. The Australian had vented his anger against the eight-time Olympic champions who finished 12th in London and it was their worst ever finish in the history of the Games.

“I have told Nobbs that his comments criticising the team during the Games were unwarranted. He has agreed with me. We have confidence in the coach and he will continue till the next Olympics,” he said.

When asked if the players and the coach shared the same wavelength, Batra said: “As far as my knowledge I think there is no rift between the coach and the players. I have heard some comments (from Shivendra Singh) in the media. I will sit down with the player and ask him if he has any problems.”

Batra said five of the 16 players have submitted their report on the team’s dismal performance in the London Games.

“I have received reports from five players. We are still waiting report from the 11 players. We will sit down with the players and the coaches and take every body’s view and find the best way forward.”

Batra also said that HI is in talks with a sports psychologist. Talks are on with Vaibhav Agashe, who has been the mental trainer for Olympic medal winning shooters Vijay Kumar and Gagan Narang.

HI has also finalised its calender for the 2013. Every year the men’s national team will be playing three bilateral series, including one with Pakistan, on home and away basis every year.

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Edited by Staff Editor
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