Millennium Post

Changing coaches frequently not good for team: Balbir Sr

Changing coaches frequently not good for team: Balbir Sr
Legendary hockey Olympian Balbir Singh Sr is extremely disappointed in the manner Hockey India has handled the Paul Van Ass issue making it clear that this frequent hire and fire policy would affect national team’s performance with only one year left for Rio Olympics.

“If we change coaches this frequently, then something apparently is wrong with our system. It reflects poorly on us and it would definitely affect the on-field performance of the Indian national team,” the triple Olympic gold medallist told PTI in an exclusive interview reacting to sacking of Terry Walsh and Van Ass in a space of eight months.

Only two days back, Dutch coach Paul Van Ass created a flutter by claiming that he has been fired by Hockey India following his alleged public altercation with federation president Narinder Batra, throwing the sport into yet another phase of uncertainty . 

Balbir Sr, who knows a thing or two about man management having guided India to its only World Cup triumph in 1975, feels that if we are recruiting foreign coaches, then we should also learn to respect them.

“If we do not appoint an Indian coach and invite a foreign coach, then we should treat him with due respect. We should give that person adequate opportunities, because his own reputation is equally involved,” Balbir Sr said.

Without taking HI chief Narinder Batra’s name, the former Indian hockey captain made it clear that administrator should refrain from giving technical inputs as it is the sole domain of a coach.
“During a tournament, the administrator has no role to play in the technical aspect of the game,” he added.

Over the past few years, HI has stressed on getting a foreign coach on board, paying them handsome salaries. The last Indian coach to take charge of the senior team was Joaquim Carvalho, who had a one-year stint that ended in 2008. 


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