India to rope in asst coach before CT Hockey

New Delhi: In its bid to counter European heavyweight nations during the upcoming Champions Trophy hockey tournament, the Indian team management headed by Australian chief coach Michael Nobbs is mulling on roping in an assistant coach from Europe on temporary basis.

"Before the Champions Trophy, we will be bringing in an European as an assistant coach as it will be useful considering we will be pitted against European teams in Champions Trophy," Nobbs told reporters in an interview from Bangalore.

"I have not yet recognised the candidate but I have a few European coaches who are my friends and I will consult them on this matter. He will be on temporary basis and will be brought in closer to the Champions Trophy," he added.

Nobbs, who has taken charge of the Indian team only last month after he was offered a five-year contract, is yet to come to terms with the hockey system in the country.

But the Australian is fully aware of his main job -- making India qualify for next year`s London Olympics, which according to him would be a Herculean task.

"It`s (qualifying for Olympics) definitely going to be a very difficult job but not impossible. But I wish I had a little more time because it takes a while in reinstituting programs," Nobbs said.

"But I have been given a 5-year contract and I can assure you that at the end of the term India will be back among the podium finishers."

But for Nobbs the utmost priority at present is his first assignment with the Indian team -- the Asian Champions Trophy in Ordos, China from September 3-12.


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