Hockey

Hockey India struggles with coaching staff crunch

The last time the Indian men’s and women’s hockey teams stepped out competitively was in February. The next time they will do so will be in 2021. But, in the meantime, Hockey India has some personnel issues to resolve.

MacDonald quits

Amidst uncertainty over analytical coach Chris Ciriello’s return, men’s team physio Dave MacDonald quit on Wednesday citing “personal reasons”.

Two weeks back, high performance director David John had done the same. In the midst of a pandemic and with less than a year to go for the Olympics, HI is struggling to get things back on track.

Baskaran’s view

“I don’t understand the planning. Everyone knew things would not go as scheduled as far back as March, during the first lockdown. And yet the players were kept at SAI till June without any training. They should have been allowed to go back much before,” said former India coach and captain V. Baskaran.

“And now, when again everyone knows there is no competition till January, why is there a camp in Bengaluru? Ideally, they should have decided to assemble in October and flown to Europe which is now relatively safer, staying there for a month or more. That would have given them both physical and mental freedom and proper competition against the clubs there,” he reasoned.

Also, the junior men’s team has just two members in its support staff as per the HI website — coach B.J. Kariappa and physio Sanjeet Kumar. The junior women’s team has three — a coach and a video analyst and analytical coach Erik Wonink. Chief coach Baljit Singh Saini, now in the US, has reportedly sought a salary hike and no longer features on the HI roster.

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Printable version | Mar 6, 2021 5:09:08 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/hockey/hi-struggles-with-coaching-staff-crunch/article32517466.ece

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