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Hockey coach plays down India's World Cup chances

Source: PTI
September 22, 2009 10:27 IST
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With little over five months left for the 2010 Hockey World Cup, India chief coach Jose Brasa said it would be unrealistic to expect anything extraordinary from the eight-time Olympic champions in the mega event to be held in New Delhi from February 28 to March 13.

Although the Spaniard is optimistic about the hosts' good showing in next year's three major tournaments -- the World Cup, Commonwealth Games and Asian Games, Brasa said his goal is to come out victorious in at least two out of the three events.

"We will try to win all three or atleast two tournaments. But the World Cup is too close and there is hardly any time left to assure you something extraordinary," Brasa said.

"We are doing everything that is in our hand. We are utilising every single minute of training. The swine flu has hampered our camp in Pune for two weeks but now we are training well in all the aspects," he said.

Incidentally, it was Brasa who roped in Jesus Garcia Pallares as the physical trainer of Indian team but barely three months after his appointment, Pallares quit the job citing lack of professionalism in the working of the Sports Authority of India (SAI).

An annoyed Brasa, however, termed his decision as a wrong one and said by doing so Pallares broke his own promise.

"He took the wrong decision. Nobody take such a severe decision without notice. He broke the 30-day notice clause of his contract. He left me here alone without the support of any physical trainer and broke the word given to me," Brasa said.

Brasa himself is also unhappy with the slow functioning of the SAI, but said he is trying hard to adapt to the system and hoped that his association with India would be longstanding.

"Things are very slow in India in general but adapting to them will be beneficial to us rather than just getting desperate," the veteran coach said.

"The equipments are coming. The Sports Minister MS Gill has promised me face to face that all the equipments will be here in our hands when we will comeback from Canada in the beginning of November," he added.

The Indian team, which is presently undergoing a camp in Pune, will be flying to Canada next month for seven Tests starting October 9.

After India's poor show in the four-nation European tour which was Brasa's first assignment as coach of the national side, rumours were rife about the Spaniard thinking about quitting. However, he rejected the speculations, saying he is enjoying every bit of his association with the national team.

"I am enjoying my vicinity, proximity and good relations with Indian coaches and players. They are outstanding human beings and I wish that my stay here will be a long one," he said.

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