TT coach Constantini`s contract unlikely to be renewed

New Delhi: Massimo Constantini`s association with Indian table tennis is all but over with the TTFI showing least interest in renewing the Italian`s contract and instead suggested the Sports Authority of India to recruit two seperate coaches for junior and senior teams.

Constantini`s contract with India expired after the just-concluded Asian Games and the Table Tennis Federation of India secretary-general Dhanraj Chaudhury today said that they have asked SAI for two seperate foreign coaches keeping in mind the long-term development of Indian paddlers.

"Constantini was a good coach and we have had no problems with him. He used to draw a monthly salary of USD 5,000 but now he was asking for USD 6,000 for the contract extension. We thought, with USD 3,000 each, we could bring in two foreign coaches instead of one," Dhanraj told PTI.

"Constantini was only involved with the senior team and there was no foreign coach for the juniors. So we thought of roping in two seperate coaches for both junior and senior side, which will help in the long-term development of our players.

"Our goal is not (2012) Olympics, our target is next Commonwealth Games and Asian Games and for that we need to build a strong base. A foreign coach with the junior team will also help in forming a strong pool of reserve players," he added.

Dhanraj said he already had a meeting with SAI officials on Friday and sought some time from them to recommend the names of foreign candidates.

He also said that the federation was eyeing a Chinese coach for the juniors while an Eurpoean for the senior side.

"We met with the government yesterday, wherein we had put forward the proposal. We sought some time from them to recommend the names," Dhanraj said.

"We are looking for a Chinese coach for the junior side as they are very hard working. For seniors we are looking for an European.

"We have already written to the Chinese Table Tennis Federation and the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) to recommend some names. As soon as we get them we will pass it on to SAI," the TTFI scretary-general added.

Constantini has been associated with India since January last year.

Under his guidance, Indian paddlers bagged an impressive five medals in the Delhi Commonwealth Games but drew a blank in last month`s Asian Games in Guangzhou, China.