New Delhi: Chief National hockey coach Terry Walsh, who is training debutants Kalinga Lancers in the ongoing Hockey India League (HIL), today said the opportunity to be associated with a franchise allows one to look at a wider pool of talent.
"The opportunity to coach a HIL team gives the inside view of what`s happening with all the players. As a coach, I will not only be studying Kalinga Lancers but keep an eye on other franchise players as to how they are performing," Walsh told reporters ahead of their first away-game against Delhi Waveriders here tomorrow.
"If you look at the (national) coaching staff, it is spread across the franchises and the different set of coaches will be monitoring all the players, which, personally, I feel is very good," the 60-year-old said.
Hockey India`s High Performance Director Roelant Oltmans is the chief coach of Sahara-owned Uttar Pradesh Wizards, M K Kaushik (assistant coach) is in-charge of Mumbai Marines, Baljit Saini (coach, junior team) is the assistant coach of Ranchi Rhinos and Dave Staniforth (goalkeeping coach of both senior and junior men`s teams) is performing the role of goalkeeping coach for the Rhinos.
Asked about the difference in coaching a franchise in comparison to a national side, the Australian said mixing different cultures is the real challenge.
"When you are coaching a national team only two cultures (that of coach and players of a particular country) come together but in a franchise, as in our case, requires blending of five different cultures (Lancers have players of five nationalities) to bring the best in each one of them," he explained.
The Lancers will take on a formidable Waveriders at the Major Dhayan Chand Stadium and the coach said they will look to learn from the mistakes committed in the last game against Ranchi Rhinos that they lost 3-7.
"We were defensively very poor against the Rhinos. We were very nervous and made unnecessary mistakes. We will look to correct them in the next game. I am sure we will be wiser than the last match," he said.
Waveriders` skipper Sardar Singh, on the other hand, said they are not taking their opponents lightly and will stick to playing their normal hockey.
"We have a very fit squad. We haven`t made any special plans against them. We will just stick to normal hockey," said Sardar.
Sardar also expressed hope of more number of people turning up for the HIL matches in the Capital.