Get Bhopal Centre ready by March for WC preps: Oltmans to SAI
New Delhi: To prepare the senior men`s national team for next year`s World Cup, Hockey India`s High Performance Director Roelant Oltmans and chief coach Terry Walsh have requested SAI to replace both the synthetic turfs at its Bhopal centre by March next year.
Both Oltmans and Walsh have expressed their desire to hold the senior team`s final preparatory camp at the SAI`s Central Regional Centre (CRC), Bhopal immediately after the second edition of the Hockey India League (HIL) in February before leaving for the World Cup in The Hague, Netherlands from May 31 to June 15, 2014.
The coaching staff comprising Oltmans, Walsh and coach Maharaj Krishan Kaushik have also informed the Sports Authority of India that the final selection of the Indian team for the 12-nation event could happen after the conclusion of the preparatory camp.
The national coaching camp for the men`s team is currently underway at the Bhopal centre till December 16. The coaching camp, which started from November 15, was being organised at the centre after a gap of five years by Roque Dias, Regional Director, SAI Bhopal.
The coaches have suggested that GREENFIELDFS TX synthetic surface, which will be used for the World Cup, and the Astroturf System 5 Synthetic surface should be laid in place of the existing two fields to get the team acclimatised with the new surface, which the top hockey playing nations have been using for years.
The coaches have stressed on the need to replace the synthetic turfs with the suggested ones most preferably before March. They want the turf ready by the time HIL will come to an end.
In case of only one turf could be replaced within the stipulated time frame, Oltmans has suggested the SAI to lay the GREENFIELDFS surface first so that the Indian contingent can practice on it.
The coaching staff also expressed their need to have a latest portable tower for videography and electronic technology installed for both the fields. The product will be HI-POD (an extreme camera monopod) from the USA.
They also want the SAI to get the base work completed through professional contractors such as the JAYPEE Group, which is a specialist in laying turfs and recognised the world over through a government agency apart from entering into a cleaning contract with the manufacturing company so that the life of turf shall be enhanced by two-three years.
Their other demand includes retaining the sprinklers system laid at the Bhopal centre.
At present, 34 national players including V R Raghunath, S V Sunil, Sardar Singh and P R Sreejesh, are participating in the national camp under the watchful eyes of Oltmans, Walsh, Kaushik, FIH Grade-I coach Dave Thamm and goalkeeping coach from South Africa Matt.