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Enjoying challenges of coaching junior Indian hockey players: Jude Felix

Former India hockey captain Jude Felix said he is enjoying the challenge of coaching the junior hockey team after guiding his side to victory in the KD Singh ‘Babu’ hockey tournament.

other sports Updated: Oct 13, 2017 09:09 IST
Sharad Deep
Sharad Deep
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Jude Felix,Indian hockey,Hockey
India’s junior hockey team pose after winning the All-India KD Singh ‘Babu’ hockey tournament in Lucknow on Wednesday. (HT Photo)

Former India hockey captain Jude Felix loves challenges in sport as he feels it is a process to make one stronger to solve bigger problems in life.

For now, coaching the young Indian team is his biggest challenge and he is enjoying it. Jude, the newly-appointed junior India coach, says, “That (challenges) is how my life is, and I am enjoying it.

“Learning is a continuous process and I am happy that boys are learning fast,” he told Hindustan Times after his boys won the prestigious All-India KD Singh ‘Babu’ hockey tournament defeating Punjab National bank 3-2, at the Mohd Shahid Stadium.

“It is a good win to check our preparation as the boys are getting ready to take up the challenges in the Sultan of Johor Cup (junior men) tournament, which begins on October 22 in Malaysia. For the last 40 days, we have been training hard here at the SAI centre. I am hopeful of a good show,” said Felix.

Felix brings with him vast experience. “My association with these boys is just three months old. They have come from different backgrounds, mindsets and training styles. Turning them into a unit is a tough job. I have got a group of talented guys who are the future,” he said.

Terming Australia and Great Britain challenging sides at the upcoming Malaysia event, Felix said the Indian juniors should make these two teams run for their money in the event.

“I would like to begin my stint with a win but I still believe the boys need to do a lot. Mistakes are bound to happen and how they keep learning from the mistakes would be important,” said Felix, who led the India team in the 1993 World Cup and in the 1994 Asian Games in Hiroshima.

The former half-back admitted that his 15-month stint as assistant coach with the senior India side was a great learning experience for him. “It was quite an exciting time for me with the team as I learnt quite a few things.

“That experience is helping me in nurturing juniors and I want their knowledge bank about the game full,” he said.

Felix has played more than 250 international matches and represented India in the 1988 and 1992 Olympics. Speaking on the preparation for the 2020 Junior World Cup where India will be the defending champions, Felix said he had already started the process and there would be intense scheduling like exposure trips, tournaments and training of players.

First Published: Oct 13, 2017 09:06 IST