Rach wants to become India hockey coach again

Last Updated: Aug 15, 2010, 14:54 PM IST

New Delhi: Five years after quitting due to
a string of poor results and controversies, India`s first
foreign hockey coach Gerhard Rach regrets the decision and is
keen to get back the job.

The German, whose five-month tenure ended in January
2005, is currently coaching Bangladesh and regrets his
"childish" move.

"I got angry, reacted like a child and left India. Today
I would react differently," Rach told reporters.

"After the disastrous Olympic Games for which I only got
two months to prepare the team, I think I did a good job
during the Pakistan tour.”

"We beat Pakistan 4-1 in Quetta and finished fourth in
the Champions Trophy in Lahore. Indian Hockey Federation chief
KPS Gill had promised me a long-term contract if we reached
the semifinal. After the Champions Trophy when the press was
asking why we did not get a medal, Gill started thinking. I
was annoyed," he recalled.

But the bitterness is forgotten now and Rach wishes to be
back with the Indian team, which currently has Spaniard Jose
Brasa as its coach.

"My work was not finished. I want to be back, if given a
chance. Don`t forget that India was ranked number five in the
world when I left the team," he said.

Rach became the first foreign coach of the Indian team
after he was appointed to the top job just a few days before
the Athens Olympics.

His stint was littered with controversies, starting from
the Olympics when the players accused him of forcing them to
play defensively as against their natural attacking style.

His dubious past only added to the list of controversies.
He allegedly faced 30 criminal charges relating to fraud,
forgery and tax evasion in Germany and was even sent to prison
for eight months.

But the IHF stood by him then and defended its decision
to appoint the hitherto little-known entity in world hockey.
Rach was also believed to be instrumental in the ousting
of players like Dhanraj Pillay and Baljit Singh Dhillon from
the team and had even stated that there was no place for stars
in the team.

Looking back at his eventful tenure, Rach said, "The
problem in India is that it is not a country, it`s like a
continent. Therefore, the Federation needs to be strongly
organised to avoid politics."

Rach also felt that the current administrative turmoil in
Indian hockey would impact the players much.

"I don`t think that it will affect the team. For the
player, it doesn`t matter who is the ruler. They are like
soldiers doing their duty, no matter who the ruler is," he
said.

On how he rated India`s chances in the upcoming
Commonwealth and Asian Games, Rach said he doesn`t keep track
of the team.

"I am far away from the current Indian team. So, I can`t
tell you how the players and chief coach Jose Brasa is
performing. I was following the World Cup by results only, so
I can`t assess the team on that basis," he said.

PTI

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