In an interview Michael Nobbs revealed that he was approached by a high profile franchisee the previous year for appointing him as the coach. He consulted Roelant Oltmans for the job and he advised him not to accept the offer as it would be in ‘conflict of interest’.
Nobbs went on to add that it was same Oltmans who refused him to accept the job but when it came to him, he took another yardstick and accepted the chair.
He stated these lines in view of this year’s Hockey India League’s line up of coaches. Six Indian national coaches are serving for franchisees. Roelant Oltmans (high performance director of senior national team) is the chief coach of Sahara owned U P Wizard. Terry Walsh (head coach) is the coach of new kids on the block- Kalinga Lancers. M K Kaushik (assistant coach) is associated with Mumbai Magicians. Baljit Saini (coach of junior team) is assistant coach of Ranchi Rhinos. Dave Staniforth ( goalkeeping coach) is GK coach of Ranchi Rhinos. Gregg Clark (head coach of junior team) is head coach of Ranchi Rhinos.
2014 is going to be a very busy and important year in Hockey calendar. World Cup, Commenwealth games and Asian games are ahead in the lineup. India is already in trouble with depleted bench strength and business of these coaches will give less time in building up grass root talent.
Indian coaches should have been spending time in watching the Indian boys at different venues. Instead, they are confined to loyalty for a single club only. It will surely narrow down their vision and desired camaraderie-chemistry with the squad. They should have seen the match with straight eye but the jaundiced eye might overlap the search for elite tournaments.
The question of the role of SAI and Hockey India in the whole prescriptive is also under scanner. First SAI quoted that the deal is ‘unethical’ but later presented another version of the case. They said that these coaches will not get salary form the Government in this duration. But the dust refuses to settle. These contracts has invited wide spread criticisms in all the social media circles.
Hockey India is spending huge amount of salary on these coaches. These coaches must repay it. Nobbs reminded that one of the most important job of this group was to scout and develop the grass root talent but they are a mere ‘traveller’ now.
Surely, Hockey India and SAI should take cognizance of the grievance of Hockey lovers of the country. Nobbs might have a score to settle with Oltmans for loosing the job as head caoch. But the questions raised by him must be answered.