With a young Indian team managing an impressive fourth-place finish in the Champions Trophy, hockey coach Michael Nobbs has dropped hints that seniors like Sandeep Singh could be on their way out as he is looking to build a side for the 2014 Olympics.
Ace drag-flicker Sandeep, Tushar Khandekar, Shivendra Singh and former captain Bharat Chetri were left out of the squad for the Champions Trophy, where the Sardar Singh-led India, playing in the event after six long years, managed to qualify for the semifinals.
Asked about the fate of the seniors after they were also ignored for the upcoming Asian Champions Trophy in Doha, Nobbs said hard work and performance are the only criteria for getting selected in the national team.
“They (seniors) will have to work hard to get back their places and the longer these youngsters keep on performing the harder it will be for them,” Nobbs told PTI.
“Everybody who is picked is picked on the merit of their performance. But it doesn’t mean the seniors are missing out, it means they have to work harder.
“We wanted to build up the base. If you look at the Australians, Germans they have very big base. We are looking for a team in Rio in four years time. The question we have to ask is that by picking a player now will he be available for Rio?” he asked.
“Will he be good enough in four years time or will he be old? Keeping that in mind, the selectors decided that we will pick and build a team for the future. I am happy with the competition but I would like to have more players competing for positions,” he insisted.