IHF names Bhaskaran new coach, sacks Rajinder Singh Jr
New Delhi, Apr 3 (UNI) After a gap of six years, Olympian Vasudevan Bhaskaran was today recalled as the national coach as the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) fired incumbent Rajinder Singh Jr from the post.
Immediately after his appointment, Bhaskaran promised a better showing by the Indian team saying, ''I will try to bring back self belief and confidence among the players.'' The wheel came full circle for Bhaskaran, who led India to gold in the 1980 Moscow Olympics, this afternoon when he was handed over the baton to steer India's campaign in the Azlan Shah tournament and the World Cup.
The IHF lived upto its reputation and tradition of sacking coaches after team's dismal showing in the interational competitions and Rajinder Singh Jr became the 11th victim.
''I am happy to come back to serve the Indian Hockey after six years. I believe in giving back to the game what I got it from,'' Bhaskaran said.
''Though I was not with the side I kept myself in touch with players and interacted with coaches and I believe that India has a talent to be among the top teams of the World.'' ''I am not here to give or raise hopes for gold medal or title wins in immediate future, but I am sure that if this team is channelised properly, India can retain its position as one among the the elite six nations and can finish first four in major tournaments.'' ''My basic aim is to see that players start believing in themselves. Self belief is very important. For example it is said that Sandeep Singh is a good drag flicker but a slow player. That is a sure way of making the player lose confidence. If handled and coached properly Sandeep will emerge as one of the finest defenders.''
IHF also appointed Harender Singh as coach and Mir Ranjan Negi as Goal keeping Coach. Harender will replace Clerance Lobo. Harender Singh, was coach of the Junior national team that finished fourth in the world Cup and was once a strong contender for the post of chief coach of the senior team. Ashish Ballal was Goal keeping coach for some time but after Rajinder Singh Jr took over there was no Goal keeping coach. Negi now steps in that position.