At a time when Indian hockey is looking for a national coach after Spaniard Jose Brasa's contract was not renewed, former captain Dhanraj Pillay today said he is the fittest person for the job.
One of the greatest players of Indian hockey, Pillay said removing
Australian Ric Charlesworth from the coach's job was a blunder while
appointing Brasa was a mistake.
Asked about Brasa's successor, Pillay said, "Why not Dhanraj Pillay ... I
am the fittest person to coach Indian team at the moment."
Here in the city as coach of Air India in the ongoing Beighton Cup,
Pillay said Hockey India should refrain from getting a foreign hand as
they have so many legendary players in the country who can handle the
"If any foreign coach was suitable it was (Ric) Charlesworth, but we
have made a blunder by removing him. If he is not there, then somebody
from us should be appointed the national coach.
"There is no point spending so much in getting a foreign coach. We have
enough ex-players who know about hockey like me... If the same money is
spent on an Indian coach, our hockey will progress like anything," he
Disappointed with the bronze medal finish at the Asian Games in
Guangzhou recently, Pillay blamed it on the selection and said, "The
selection was not fair. There were some three-four good players who were
not part of the side."
Having failed to secure automatic qualification for the 2012 Olympics, Indian hockey should start from scratch now, Pillay said.
"We have a tough road to qualification for 2012 London Olympics. We have
to start working now. There are a lot of hockey talents from various
parts of the country. We have to unearth them.
"Immediately a new coach's name should be announced. We have a lot of
work to do ahead. There is no dearth of talent. We have to go to
interior places like in states of Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya
Pradesh, Bihar, Orissa and Haryana. We have to pick them from grassroots
"The problem with us is that nobody wants to work at ground level. If
given the responsibility, I will ensure that there is a specialist coach
to look at all the departments of the game."
I Am Fit to Be India's Hockey Coach: Pillay
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