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Things Expected from India's New Hockey Coach, Michael Nobbs

Former Australian center-half, Michael Nobbs, has been named new coach of Indian hockey team and for the first time a coach has been given long term appointment by the federation. Michael is the third foreign coach Indian team has had after Gerhard Rach and Jose Brasa. Michael has coached Japanese women team as an assistant coach from 1993 to 1999 and then as a head coach 2007-2008. On a salary of 10000 Australian Dollars per month (highest for any Indian hockey coach), a lot will be expected from Michael Nobbs and his support staff.

Indian hockey has been one of the most demanding jobs ever, a lot is asked from the coaches despite giving very less in return to the coaches. Following are things that will be expected from new coach Michael Nobbs.

Tough challenges ahead of Nobbs

1. Do well in Champions Trophy
One of the first things that would be expected from new coach Michael Nobbs is good performance in upcoming Champions Trophy. Champions Trophy will be played in India in five months time and good performance will be expected from him. Performing well in the Champions Trophy is going to be an uphill task due to India’s lack of international games. Nobbs will meet the players in the national camp on July 3 and then train players for Champions Trophy.

2. Qualify for the Olympics
Qualifying for the Olympics is going to be the biggest task for the coach Michael Nobbs. Indian team failed to qualify for the Olympics in 2008, so missing out on Olympics will not be an option this time for Indian hockey. This time Olympic qualifiers will also be conducted in India next year in February which will add pressure on the coach and the players. It could also play a major role in the future of the new coach.

3. Improve fitness level of the players
One thing that Indian players lack in competing against the top-ranked teams is the fitness level. The fitness level of the Indian players is less as compared to players from top ranked teams. The difference in the level of fitness could be clearly seen in CWG final and recently concluded Sultan Azlan Shah Cup. So he will have to work on the fitness of the players which will allow the players to compete on the highest level easily.

4. Develop coaching method
This point was also highlighted by Pargat Singh. One common coaching method will be very advantageous to Indian hockey. By developing a common coaching methodology, India will produce more players which are required to play at the highest level. There is a big gap between top 4-5 states and other states and a common coaching method will help narrow the gap and produce more players.

5. Do well in the next World Cup and Olympics 2016
A lot should not be expected from the Indian team if it qualifies for the Olympics 2012 but hockey officials will expect a good performance in the World Cup 2014 and Olympics 2016. The team will get three years to prepare for the Olympics and 5 years for the next Olympics. The coach will have to give good result (preferably a podium finish) in these two events.

6. Develop junior hockey
Though his job is to coach the senior national team but he will have to develop the squads of junior teams which will act as a feed players to the national side. There are players who will not be around in next two-three years and Michael Nobbs will have to find replacements for the players. Michael will also have to plug the leaky defense which has been a major worry for the team. So, he will have to help develop junior side to get players for the national teams. hockey India did not send a team for Junior Asia Cup and this is going to hurt the chances of Indian team in future. Micheal Nobbs will have to set the things right and develop junior hockey

Michael Nobbs faces a very tough task as an Indian hockey coach due to the fact that not much facilities are provided by the players. Former coach Jose Brasa has done well despite not being given anything, now it is time for Micheal Nobbs to prove credentials which he has achieved as a hockey coach.

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