Sardar Singh included in Hockey India selection committee

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Sardar Singh included in Hockey India selection committee

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SportsCafe Desk

01/16/2019

Former skipper Sardar Singh has been named in the 13-member selection committee of Hockey India which is headed by another former player BP Govinda. Sardar had earlier announced his retirement from the game after India’s disappointing performance at the Asian Games in August last year. 

Sardar took up the duty offered by the Hockey India on Tuesday. He will now be a part of the selection committee and will be responsible in deciding the team ahead of the crucial tournaments to be held during his tenure ad a selector. The former midfielder has represented the country with distinction and had a good record as a captain as well. The former skipper, who was a part of the national side till last year, also knows a lot of players in the current generation. 

"Yes, I was offered the role and I accepted it. It is a new challenge for me and I am always eager to serve Indian hockey in any way I can. It's a completely different challenge and an exciting one. All these years I served as a player now I got the opportunity to serve from the other side of the table," Sardar told PTI.

"I have been player for the past two decades and I know what is important for a team. Youth can never replace experience. What I feel is that any good team is a balance of youth and experience. Look at Belgium. As a selector my approach would be the same. I would always vouch for experience but at the same time will like to see good youngsters in the team. India need experienced players like PR Sreejesh, Rupinder Pal Singh and SV Sunil to guide the youngsters till the 2020 Tokyo Olympics."

High-Performance Director David John and chief coaches of the senior men's and women's teams are also a part of the selection committee which also includes Harbinder Singh, Syed Ali, AB Subbaiah, RP Singh, Rajnish Mishra, Joydeep Kaur, Surender Kaur and Asunta Lakra. 

Meanwhile, Sardar has also opened up about the sacking of former senior men’s team coach Harendra Singh. Harendra was asked to step down after India’s World Cup campaign at home ended in the quarter-final round after losing to the Netherlands. Sardar has played under Harendra and he backed the latter by saying that he is one of the best in India. After failing to win a gold at the Asian Games, India will have to play the qualifiers to get a ticket for the upcoming Olympics to be played in Tokyo next year. 

"I think it was not a wise decision. Harendra (bhai) is one of the best coaches of India. I think we didn't give him enough time. In the 4-5 tournaments with the senior side he managed 3 podium finishes for India. I think any coach needs at least 4 years to build a team and get desired results," the former midfielder said. 

"We have to go through a difficult Olympic qualifier and any new coach will take at least 5-6 months to get his footing. With a new coach there is always the risk of adapting to a completely new style of hockey. So I think it wasn't a wise decision. But as players we don't have any say. We have to play and adapt to circumstances that we are put through."

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