Terry Walsh, making his first visit to Mumbai after the 1982 World Cup, stressed on implementation as the key to making a difference in Indian hockey.
“I have to find ways to get the players implement the process. If a certain way of doing things is not working, I have to find another way to make the players understand what I had in mind,” said the Australian, appointed by Hockey India as the Indian national team men’s coach.
He was in Mumbai to watch the Bombay Gold Cup semifinals, accompanied by Dutchman Roelant Oltmans, India’s High Performance Director.
Value of consistency
The Aussie was emphatic about the value of consistency in players’ performances and explained that Indian teams under him will play the Indian style.
“Consistency is critical for performances to move upward over a period of time,” said Terry, on his first stint with the Indian national team.
“You are Indians and so will play the Indian style. Indians have fast, fantastic hands, but that does not mean dribbling all the way.
“Certainly other elements will be added to the game, the defensive side for example, so that we retain ball possession.”
Terry recalled a deceptive pass by a player witnessed during a training session. Oltmans identified the passer as S.V. Sunil.
“I was certain the pass would be made to inside-right or right wing position, instead the ball went to the left flank, setting up the striker on that side on a clear route to goal. It was the best pass I have seen in hockey,” said the Aussie, known for opportunism in the goalmouth.
Sunil was rated highly for pace and penetration on the flank by Michael Nobbs, the India men’s team previous coach.