Harendra ready to reconsider resignation but with an asterisk

Harendra Singh wants to give himself another shot at coaching the national hockey team but is not ready to work under any foreign coach.

Last Updated: Dec 03, 2010, 16:39 PM IST

New Delhi: Harendra Singh wants to give himself another shot at coaching the national hockey team but is not ready to work under any foreign coach.

Indian hockey team is without a coach at present as Harendra had resigned after the team failed to win a gold medal at the Asian Games while Spaniard Jose Brasa`s contract has expired and is unlikely to be renewed.

Harendra feels what India need is an expert from abroad as a technical director to nurture talent at grassroots level.

Brasa had a tumultuous stint due to his several showdowns with the authorities and Harendra said foreign coached should take cue from cricket coach Gary Kirsten, who has not only given results but has managed to establish a strong bond with the players and the decision makers.

Harendra had a long stint as national coach with the team and feels that since he knows all the players inside out, he can handle the team but not without the condition that he will be the sole authority.

"I am ready to reconsider my decision but this time I am not willing to work under anybody. I want full control as well as full responsibility. If someone wants to blame anybody for team`s performance, it should be me," Harendra told PTI- Bhasha.

"After many years of experience of coaching at international level, I think I am capable of looking after the team on my own," he added.

The race for the next coach has begun as Bangladesh`s German-origin coach Gerhard Rach and Singapore based former Indian centre-half Jude Felix have shown interest in taking up the responsibility while former veterans are in favour of Harendra.

Harndera said he was not against the idea of having a foreign coach and had a suggestion if somebody from abroad is hired for the job.

"If someone tries to overhaul the system, it is

unnecessary and unwarranted. Coach should concentrate on just on-field performance, without getting into administrative part. He should work like Gary Kirsten who is delivering and maintains low profile at the same time.

"Coach should not be like Greg Chappell who was always criticising," he said without naming Brasa.

Harendra also rubbished the reports of him not having
cordial relations with Brasa.

"I have co-ordinated very well with him and he too gave me full support. The reason for my resignation was different. For me, Asiad bronze was a debacle and I took the responsibility for that.

"I thought we could have won gold easily as the standard of hockey was very low this time. Our team was better prepared while Pakistan and Korea were struggling," he said.

Hockey India has urged Harendra to withdraw his decision but he will talk to the officials about his conditions first.

"HI general secretary Narinder Batra has asked me to withdraw my resignation. I will, but for that I have some conditions. I have already written to HI and will meet the HI and SAI officials soon," he said.

Urging the players to concentrate on Olympic qualifiers instead of initiating blame game, Harendra also denied that there is any rift in the team.

"There is no rift in the team but player should avoid making controversial statements. Players should concentrate on Olympic qualifiers which is the biggest challenge for us now.

I am sure that we will win the qualifiers and play at London Olympic," he said.

Captain Rajpal Singh had accused Brasa of humiliating him and had threatened to resign while drag flicker Dhananjay Mahadik has accused Rajpal of deliberately not playing well in Asian games.

PTI
Harendra also rubbished the reports of him not having cordial relations with Brasa.

"I have co-ordinated very well with him and he too gave me full support. The reason for my resignation was different. For me, Asiad bronze was a debacle and I took the responsibility for that.

"I thought we could have won gold easily as the standard of hockey was very low this time. Our team was better prepared while Pakistan and Korea were struggling," he said.

Hockey India has urged Harendra to withdraw his decision but he will talk to the officials about his conditions first.

"HI general secretary Narinder Batra has asked me to withdraw my resignation. I will, but for that I have some conditions. I have already written to HI and will meet the HI and SAI officials soon," he said.

Urging the players to concentrate on Olympic qualifiers instead of initiating blame game, Harendra also denied that there is any rift in the team.

"There is no rift in the team but player should avoid making controversial statements. Players should concentrate on Olympic qualifiers which is the biggest challenge for us now.

I am sure that we will win the qualifiers and play at London Olympic," he said.

Captain Rajpal Singh had accused Brasa of humiliating him and had threatened to resign while drag flicker Dhananjay Mahadik has accused Rajpal of deliberately not playing well in Asian games.

PTI