New Delhi: Hockey India on Sunday appointed South Africa's Gregg Clark as the coach of junior men's national team, just over six months before the 2013 FIH Junior Hockey World Cup to be held in India.
Clark brings with him international experience of 7 years as the coach of South African team, which included visits to the 2008 and 2012 Olympics and the 2010 World Cup and Commonwealth Games. The South African also has 250 international caps under his belt as a player, including appearances at two World Cups, two Olympic Games and two Commonwealth Games. In addition, Clarke also coached Hockey India League franchise Ranchi Rhinos, leading them to winning the inaugural edition of the city-based league.
HI Secretary General, Dr. Narinder Batra, termed Clarke's appointment as part of the build-up to help the junior team achieve a podium finish at the World Cup to be held in New Delhi. "Being the hosts of the Junior World Cup, I think this is the best opportunity for India to achieve a top-three finish in the most prestigious junior men hockey tournament. We are confident that under the guidance of Gregg Clark and Baljeet Saini, the Indian team will be well prepared for this mega event.
"We are confident that Gregg Clark will provide a significant contribution to the existing coaching team for the junior men," he said.
Clark who, who will assume office in India from April 13, said having worked with Ranchi Rhinos holds him in good stead to harness the potential he has seen in Indian hockey. "I have been to India many times and after coaching Ranchi Rhinos in the inaugural season of Hero Hockey India League, I can say that Indian hockey has very bright future. I look forward to working again with Baljeet Saini, who, along with the other coaching staff, has done a great job with the team to date."