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Chalo India!

india Updated: May 06, 2009 01:51 IST
Sahil Sharma
Sahil Sharma
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

The word uppermost on Jose Brasa's mind is chalo or move forward. And that's what the newly-appointed hockey head coach intends to do with the game in the country. "It feels great to be finally here in India. I am really excited about the new assignment and hope to help Indian hockey as much as I can," he said.

The Spaniard, who will be joining the team in Malaysia for the Asia Cup, was quick to clarify his immediate priorities. "I will be going to Malaysia to familiarise with the players and offer my assistance in any way possible. Harender Singh will have my support. Only after a first look of the team will I be able to chalk out a plan of action for the future."

Technology ranks high in Brasa's scheme of things and the international hockey federation (FIH) master coach said he would be bringing it into use for the development of the players.

"I have asked for a support staff of 14 and also some modern equipment to gain an in-depth insight on the ability of each player," Brasa said.

Technology alone can't yield results, the players need to work hard for that. Towards this, Brasa intends to bring changes in the playing style and team selection. "India has a style of its own. It is not like the European style. It is more attacking and traditional. I want to bring that tradition back in the game and also develop the individual skills of each player.

"Everywhere in Europe, the coach selects the team. There is nothing like a selection committee. But I am still learning the ways of this country and hopefully I will have a major say in the selection criteria," he said.

Brasa, along with FIH president Leandro Negre and Indian Olympic Association (IOA) chairman Suresh Kalmadi, visited the National Stadium to get an update on the construction work for the 2010 Commonwealth Games and came away wearing a pleased look.

FIH hopes for swift action

Amidst the exchange of smiles, the FIH again warned the IOA to install a unified body before the 2010 World Cup or risk losing the event.

“Nobody wants the World Cup to be shifted out of India, but if the IOA doesn't act fast, there is always a chance of India losing the event,” said FIH vice president Antonio von Ondarza. “We need to see results soon.”

However, Negre tried to tone down his deputy's strong words by saying, “The update we have received is very encouraging and we hope that the IOA does the needful.”

Kalmadi assured that things were under control. “We were given a warning by the FIH and we will soon be forming a unified hockey body,” he said.