Millennium Post

Walsh quits, door still open for return

Walsh quits, door still open for return
In a major setback for Indian hockey, the men’s national team chief coach Terry Walsh on Tuesday officially quit from his post after his contractual talks with Hockey India and the SAI broke down. However, a fresh proposal is still being worked out for the Australian’s consideration.

Walsh, whose contract came to an end on Wednesday, had already submitted his resignation last month after his demands for a greater say in team decisions and hand-picked support staff were turned down by HI and Sports Authority of India.

He had been negotiating to stay on board and met sports minister Sarbananda Sonowal also on Tuesday morning along with the three-member panel set to look into his demands. But the talks ended inconclusively, prompting the 60-year-old to head back to Perth without withdrawing his resignation.

However, a fresh proposal has been discussed and Walsh expects to get the hard copy of it by a day or two after which only he can take the final decision whether to return or not. ‘I have been really excited by the SAI and government’s desire to review and possibly implement small changes to enhance hockey in India. Their support in this process has been extremely positive and shows a clear desire to take hockey forward in this country. Change is never easy but without it progress cannot be made,’ Walsh said while addressing a press conference here on Tuesday.

‘I have become strongly attached to the performance of the players and support staff. With this team there is huge potential and a growing level of performance. I thank them sincerely for their efforts, their trust and most of all their friendship. But as of last evening I closed my role with the national program. But have just discussed a new proposal and I hope to receive that in the next 24 to 48 hours,’ said the Australian, who was appointed India’s chief coach in October last year, replacing fellow Australian Michael Nobbs.

Walsh, however, is still hopeful of a positive outcome to the deadlock and expects to take a final call on the issue by this weekend after studying the new proposal. ‘I am optimistic. I am an optimistic person because if I didn’t think it was possible I wouldn’t have been sitting here and I wouldn’t have gone through the meetings I went through. I m still hoping for a resolution to this situation in the very near future. My case has been discussed on Tuesday and I need a few days to gather my thoughts,’ he said. Besides Walsh, a six-member committee, constituted by SAI to study Walsh’s proposals, also met the sports minister on Tuesday. 
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