Faridabad: The Hockey India (HI) on Wednesday decided to curtail the power of the chief national coach Michael Nobbs by appointing a high performance manager to whom the Australian will be reporting from the coming season.
HI secretary general Narender Batra also announced a few other initiatives that the parent body intends to take up in its bid to improve the national hockey team's disastrous performance at the London Olympics. "We intend to appoint a high performance manager by end of next month. He will be overseeing the performance of both men's and women's teams with the senior national coaches reporting to him. His job will be to see the successful implementation of coaching from senior to sub junior," Batra said.
He also informed that a few names have already come up for discussion, but they will zero in on a name only in a month's time. Although Batra denied that the step is being taken to clip Nobbs’ complete authority on the team, he could not come up with a convincing answer. "The concept of high performance manager has been prevalent in many top hockey playing nations and obviously the man who will be selected will have the respect of both the coach and the players,” Batra said. "We have intimated Nobbs about our decision to appoint a high performance manager and he is game for it," he added.
The decision to appoint high performance manager is seen as a move to curtail the power of the chief national coach Michael Nobbs.
Whether the high performance manager will be allowed to interfere in the tactical and strategic decisions of the team, Batra said, "Yes, he will have the authority to deal in technical matters also."
Although HI is looking at a person, who will be able to continue till Rio Olympics 2016, there will be an annual assessment of his performance. Meanwhile, both Nobbs and team physiologist, David John will continue at their respective posts.
He said that all the members of the support staff, including Nobbs and John have submitted written reports on the team's performance in London. Among the players, till now five have submitted written reports.
"We want all the players to submit their written versions and then speak to them collectively and discuss about what went wrong. If by 31st of this month, the players who haven't submitted the written report do not do so, we will still go ahead with our discussion with whatever we have. The basic idea is to find a solution and not indulge in any kind of witch hunting."
Batra said that he has personally spoken to Nobbs about the latter's critical comments on team's performance when the Olympics was on. "I told him that he shouldn't have made such comments and he has also understood it," insisted Batra.
Speaking on the same line, Batra said that he will also have a word with Shivendra Singh, who had openly termed Nobbs "responsible" for India's performance. "There is no question of any sanctions on Shivendra, but I will definitely have a word with him. We cannot penalise a player for one odd comment," said Batra.