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India’s Junior World Cup hockey team to have new coach, HI start process

After India’s Junior World Cup winning team coach Harendra Singh opted out, Hockey India has already put out an advertisement calling up candidates. The federation has announced a pool of 90 players, including 53 in men’s section, to build a national squad for future international competitions.

other sports Updated: Jun 04, 2017 00:18 IST
Navneet Singh
India won  the Junior Men’s Hockey World Cup in 2016, under coach Harendra Singh.
India won the Junior Men’s Hockey World Cup in 2016, under coach Harendra Singh.(HT phot)

After India’s Junior World Cup winning team coach Harendra Singh opted out, Hockey India has begun its hunt for a coach who can oversee junior men’s development programme to build the team for 2020 World Cup.

Hockey India, in fact, has already put out an advertisement calling up candidates. The federation has announced a pool of 90 players, including 53 in men’s section, to build a national squad for future international competitions.

The national camp got underway on Wednesday at Bengaluru’s Sports Authority of India (SAI) training centre.

Read | India beat Belgium 2-1 to win hockey junior World Cup crown after 15 years

Former international players Baljit Singh Saini and Sunita Lakra will oversee training of women’s team while Olympian Arjun Halappa will assist the men’s team as a stop gap arrangement.

HI spokesperson Elena Norman said that the federation is looking for an expert for its long term development plan. “Hopefully, the new coach will join the camp by next week,” she told HT.

Harendra Singh, who was ignored after the World Cup in December 2016 following disagreement with the federation, wasn’t available for comment. Differences cropped up as Hockey India wanted chief national coach Roelant Oltmans to take over the junior team, to which Harendra objected. The Dutchman was then nominated as manager.

Read | Harmanpreet Singh eyes HIL glory after securing Junior Hockey World Cup title

Since Roelant Oltmans and senior women’s hockey coach Sjoerd Marijne are from Netherlands, there is a possibility that HI might have another Dutch expert for its junior development plan.

Halappa had been assisting the senior team for sometime but was withdrawn from the national squad that is touring Europe ahead of the upcoming Hockey World League Semifinals at London from June 15.

During the five week-long junior development camp, federation’s high performance director David John will also oversee the training.