Michael Jack Nobbs of Australia is likely to take over the reigns of the country's men's hockey team after Hockey India's (HI) selection panel decided to recommend his name to the Sports Ministry on Tuesday.
Olympian Nobbs was one of the three candidates, who gave a presentation to the HI and Sports Authority of India (SAI) officials about their plans for Indian hockey here on Tuesday. The other two were Dutch stars Roelant Oltmans and Jacques Brinkman.
After a day-long deliberations, SAI director general Desh Deepak Verma confirmed that they had zeroed in on one candidate but declined to divulge any more details.
"We have spotted one coach. His name will be recommended to ministry for approval," he said, adding that the appointment will be made with the long-term focus on the 2016 Olympics.However, a member of the HI Panel confirmed to Hindustan Times that Nobbs name will be recommended to the ministry.
The clinching factor for Nobbs was the higher remuneration demanded by the Dutch stars. The Sports Ministry has put an upper limit of $7500 for foreign coaches.
Apart from financial constraint, availability was another issue that diluted the chances of two Dutch experts, said the source.
"The foreign coach should be able to devote some time to oversee the country's youth development programmes too," he said.
"Since there is no organised structure in the country, apart from guiding the senior, the foreign expert should be able to monitor the development programme in the country.
"At this point of time we don't have a result oriented system at the grassroots level. Lack of proper feeding is gradually depleting the senior.
Hence, laying solid foundation is one of the priorities," said the member on condition of anonymity.
With next preparatory camp around the corner, it is not known whether Nobbs would join the camp right away or would take some time.
Grewal in, Harendra goes out
The panel also decided to give more powers to Sukhvir Grehwal, who is HI head of director coaching and ease out current chief coach Harendra Singh.
Here after, Grewal will also be responsible for coordinating with the foreign coach.