Harpal Singh Bedi / New Delhi
As expected Harendra Singh’s tenure as a coach of the senior hockey team has come to an end and In the interim the team will be overseen by the High Performance Director, David John and current Analytical Coach, Chris Ciriello.
Hockey India has been looking for a foreign coach and Harendra’s controversial comments after the World Cup match against Netherlands did him no good.
He had criticised the refereeing in the post-match press conference and was issued a notice by the FIH.
However Harendra Singh has been offered an honourable exit by the Hockey India’s High Performance and Development Committee which has recommended that he ( Harendra ) be made Coach of Junior Men’s Hockey Team again
The committee which is headed by RP Singh and has members including Olympians Harbinder Singh, B.P. Govinda and Syed Ali. held a lengthy meeting and decided to reassign Harendra Singh as the Coach of the Junior Team
The committee was of the view that the mercurial rise of some of top junior players under the tutelage of Harendra Singh between 2013 – 2016 helped the India Colts to win the historic Junior World Cup in Lucknow, .
2018 was mixed year for senior team as they lost the opportunity to qualify for 2020 Tokyo Olympics directly as they went down on penalties to Malaysia in the Asian Games and settled for a bronze. In the World Cup at home, India put up some good performances but were beaten by Netherlands in the quarter-final
In a statement Hockey India said “With a vision and emphasis on building a strong player base ahead of the 2021 Junior World Cup and the 2020, 2024 Olympic Games, Hockey India High Performance and Development Committee met on Monday, 7 January 2019.
The meeting was attended by Chairman Dr. RP Singh and members including Olympians Harbinder Singh, B.P. Govinda and Syed Ali.
“Based on their discussions the Committee has recommended to reassign Harendra Singh as the Coach for the Junior Team.
Harendra Singh has been asked to take charge of the Junior team commencing from the camp slated to start in March
“.The mercurial rise of some of country’s top junior players under the tutelage of Harendra Singh between 2013 – 2016 when the India Colts lifted the Junior World Cup in Lucknow, and his ability of grooming youngsters has been the key reasons for the think-tank at Hockey India to arrive at this recommendation.”
“Though the year 2018 was very disappointing for the Indian Men’s Hockey Team with results not going as expected, Hockey India believes investing in the junior program which will reap long-term benefits.”
“ Hockey India will shortly be advertising and will invite applications for the position of the Chief Coach of the Indian Men’s Hockey Team which will be returning to training camp in February for the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup scheduled to commence from 23 March”