Former India hockey coach Harendra Singh has clarified that he has taken the decision to pursue the AIFF football coaching course only to enhance his knowledge. Harendra has also added that one national hockey association has asked him to send his CV for the position of the head coach.
After Indian men’s hockey team’s exit from the quarter-final round in the previous World Cup, Hockey India had asked Harendra to step down from the position of the head coach of the team. He was also asked to take the charge of the junior team again but the conditions that he put was not adhered by the board and Sports Authority of India (SAI) and he was relieved from his services.
Meanwhile, the renowned hockey coach has now decided to take up ‘D’ license football coaching course of the All India Football Federation (AIFF) which has opened up new speculation of him switching from hockey to football. However, Harendra himself has now clarified about the decision to pursue the course under the AIFF.
"It's just to enhance my knowledge. Hockey is my first love, but the way football is coming up in India, I felt that I must use this free time to explore football," Harendra told TOI.
"Both (football and hockey) are quite similar. So I'm planning to get a 'D' license. I have also had a word with Shaji Prabhakaran (Football Delhi president) about this. I want to learn from football. It's quite common in Europe (hockey coaches switching to football), but there is no such culture in India," the reputed coach explained.
Hockey India has invited fresh applications for the post of the head coach of the men’s team which is set to be appointed this month. The team, meanwhile, is training in SAI, Bengaluru under the guidance of analytical coach Chris Ciriello and David John who is the High-Performance Director of Hockey India. On the other hand, Harendra has also revealed that he has got offers for the post of head coach from other nations but he is yet to give
"To be frank, one country has asked me to send my CV for the head coach (hockey), while an agent of coaches in Europe has also contacted me. I haven't yet given it any serious thought, as it will require discussion with the family, my son's academic future, etc.," Harendra revealed.
Referring to the importance of knowledge sharing between coaches of different sports, he said, "It is the saddest part. In Europe, they (coaches of all sports) socialise, discuss and share their knowledge among themselves. In India, even if at all existent, it is only sport-based. There's no common platform for interaction between coaches from different sports.”
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