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Part I: Nobbs completes two years (6/30/2013)
--K. Arumugam
Michael Nobbs: Part I: Nobbs completes two years in office, does it bring any change

Michael Nobbs, technically the third foreign coach to train our national hockey team, completes his two years today.

He was selected to the post by a Hockey India Committee co-headed by Olympian Pargat Singh and HI Secretary Narinder Batra, whose recommendation was expectedly accepted by the Sports Authority of India, and Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, who will foot the bill.

Michael Nobbs took charge of Indian team in the first week of July 2011.

He succeeded Harendra Singh, who coached Indian team for the Azlan Shah Cup that year and whose team lost to New Zealand 3-7 midway through pool and then to Korea in the last match, though early it could defeat both Malaysia and England.

Harendra that time was just 2 month old in his assignment, though he was in charge of the men’s team in 2009 leading upto Kuantan Asia Cup.

This quick fire two months spell that saw fall of Harendra is yet another proof how the coaching part of national team has been handled time and again.

Whoever led the national body -- Indian Hockey Federation, Hockey Ad hoc Committee of Indian Olympic Association, Hockey India, whatever -- hardly gave time for any coaches to settle down and do their service.

Coaches hardly survived for long. A year was considered lucky, more than that bonus. Nine coaches trained national teams in the last ten years and their names and the duration are depicted below:

Rajinder Singh 27 Months
Gerrard Rach 5 months
Rajinder Singh Junior 11 months
Vasudevan Baskaran 21 months
Joaquim Carvalho 13 months
Harendra Singh 5 months
Jose Brasa 18 months
Harendra Singh 2 months
Ajay Kumar Bansal 1 month
Michale Nobbs 24 months and continuing.

The above table clears shows two things: Firstly, last ten years saw ten coaches training Indian men’s team though a couple of them like AK Bansal were given just one tour.

Secondly, no fixed policy or target for coaches

Detailing of reasons of frequent change of coaches is waste of time, all dealt with adequately in the past. Suffice to say that the present incumbent Michael Nobbs is lucky to have two full years, and nobody still questions his continuance. He is under five-year contract.

In the last ten years, as the table above presents, only Rajinder Senior could complete two years.

Now the question is whether Nobbs, given under the tentative and unscientific methods and modes under which Indian hockey does exist, show any positive improvement the way Indian national team play, win, sustain; and are these point to a situation where we can able to establish, yes, we are moving in a direction faster or better than had the team been still in the hands of Indians.

This entails both statistical and subjective analysis, which we will be doing in the coming days.

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