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Hockey coach Brasa sets sights on Asiad gold

Source: PTI
May 05, 2009 20:54 IST
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Entrusted the task of reviving Indian hockey, Jose Brasa, the newly-appointed coach of the men's hockey team, on Tuesday said his immediate target is the gold medal at next year's Guangzhou Asian Games.

"My realistic goal is the gold in Asiad, because it will ensure India's place in 2012 London Olympics. Moreover, I love the colour yellow very much," Brasa told reporters after reviewing the progress work of the National Stadium in Delhi along with FIH president Leandro Negre and Indian Olympic Association president Suresh Kalmadi among others.

Brasa, under whose guidance Spain's women's team won the gold in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, however, seemed realistic about his new assignment and agreed with former Indian hockey's technical advisor Ric Charlesworth's view that a coach cannot make or break a team's fortune in a day or two.

"I can't assure you results now, it will take time. Charlesworth was true that to make a good team it needs four years. We (coaches) are not magicians. Results will come only after putting a lot of hard work," he stated.

Brasa, an International Hockey Federation (FIH) master coach, is also prepared for the challenge and said his immediate task at hand is to study every single Indian player and take note of their positives and negatives.

"I am very happy to pass my knowledge. But first I shall watch, analyse and then test the players. I will test each player carefully and then develop specific plans for them," Brasa said.

The 55-year-old coach, who intends to incorporate a modern and scientific approach to revive Indian team's sagging fortune, said that Indian players, skill-wise, are second to none and the eight-time Olympic champions best weapon is their traditional style of playing the game.

"Indian players are best in the world in attacking hockey. We must not tinker with that and give them free will to play attacking game. Defence is a matter a concern but we will work upon it," said Brasa, who has been handed a two-year contract till the Asian Games in Guangzhou in November next year.

"A coach must take a route and understand what is best for the team and individual player. I will try to support and help the players because they are the key of any sport. What a coach can provide is only help withoug interfering in their game," he added.

Asked whether limited say in team selection and outside interference in his style of working is a matter of concern for him, he said, "I don't think so. We have been talking about that (his authority in team selection) and I am sure we will mutually work out the matter.

Brasa also expressed satisfaction on the facilities and support the Government of India has promised to provide him during his assignment.

"I am very happy and surprised to receive so much help. I received all the support that I never thought. I found all the doors open.

"I have asked to borrow modern and upgraded equipment and machines from abroad and the Sports Authority of India yesterday assured me that everything will be provided," Brasa said.

Brasa will be leaving for Malaysia tonight to join the Indian team for the Asia Cup, starting Saturday. He said his job during the eight-nation tournament would be to assist coach-in-charge Harendra Singh.

"In Malaysia Harendra is the chief. I will go there to help him and ask him what he needs from me."

As per his contract, during his tenure with Indian team, Brasa will also have to work upon four home coaches and groom them, and the Spaniard seems more than happy to pass his knowledge.

"I want to work with Indian coaches, I want to help them. At the end of my tenure I want to pass the reins of the team to an Indian," he said.

Meanwhile, FIH president Negre expressed satisfaction over the progress of the construction work of the stadium but reiterated his view that without a democratically elected unified body, India can't host next year's hockey World Cup.

"I am very happy with the progress, but FIH is clear that without an elected federation India can't hold the World Cup. It will take time for both the women's and men's federations to come together," he said.

He also brushed aside security apprehensions surrounding the World Cup following Tennis Australia's decision not to send its team for the Davis Cup tie, which was scheduled to be held in Chennai this month.

"There is no such fear. We (FIH) haven't received anything on that front from any country as of now."

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