India needs a separate defence coach: Dilip Tirkey

Updated: Jul 17, 2013, 16:29 PM IST

New Delhi: Former captain Dilip Tirkey, who was also one of the best defenders of his time, reckons that demands of modern hockey are such that Indian hockey team requires a separate defence coach who need not be a foreigner.

Hockey India have initiated a process to find a goalkeeping coach for the side for the Asia Cup.

Tirkey said it will benefit Indian hockey if services of a defence coach are also sought for the preparations.

"Defence is very important in modern hockey and I have seen lapses in past few tournaments. Defenders and mid-fielders should work hard on it. Defending is not as easy as it appears," Tirkey told PTI Bhasha.
"I think India need a defence coach. Chief coach can not handle everything. Modern hockey is very different as tackling is not easy now. There is an offside rule. A defence expert can teach them technical things like positioning, tackling, re-tackling, footwork, marking in a better way," the veteran, who was called `the wall of Indian hockey`, said.

He also said that an Indian can be chosen for the job as there are many former players who were great defenders.

"I don`t think that we need a foreign coach for this. We have former players like Pargat Singh who had great defending skills," he said.

Tirkey, who had a short stint with Indian team prior to Olympic qualifiers last year, said that `all rounder` concept in hockey is good but it is tough to apply this in Indian hockey.

Former coach Micheal Nobbs was keen on developing players as all rounders who could play at any positions.

"It`s a good concept but I think it is very tough in Indian context. Teams who have 7?8 world class players can afford it but not India as we have 2 or 3 world class players at a time in our team," said the ace full back who has played a record 412 games.

When asked about suggestions for drag flickers who were flop in World Hockey League semifinals in Rotterdam, he said that they should work hard on their strengths.

"We must play more and more matches against top teams. Indian drag flickers are talented and I have seen unbelievable flicks from them. They should keep working hard on their strengths," said the Rajya Sabha member from Odisha.