India chances 50-50 in London Olympics 2012 | Nobbs said india’s london Olympics Chances 50-50
India chances 50-50 in London Olympics 2012: Chief hockey coach Michael Jack Nobbs has said that India has a 50-50 chance of making it to the London Olympics 2012. The Australian was realistic in his views, keeping in mind the fact that India had only seven months to prepare a good team for the Olympic qualifiers in New Delhi.
“It is a tough task,” Nobbs said on Monday. “The top 10 nations have spent a lot of money and been preparing for the Olympics for many years now. I pray and hope we do our best.”
Nobbs admitted the game was faced with difficult times in the near future. “It is a bumpy road, plenty of ups and downs, particularly in the next 12 months. Hopefully, given the time, I am confident India will be on the podium at the Brazil Olympics in 2016. But there is a lot of work to be done.”
The Australian said he would be redeveloping what India has been practising for decades. “As youngsters, we were taught the 5-3-2-1 formation. We still teach that back home, we don’t teach Euro hockey. My work is to make it modern and contemporary. The Indians are good, their strategies just needs a bit of tweaking.”
The coach also plans to make the hockey website a lot more interactive than it is now. “We will have a website with player profiles, their likes, dislikes, their pastimes and other information. I’m going to introduce innovation time, players can come up with ideas in this website. We will have space for the media too. Hockey world is watching India. We want India to do well. We will be transparent about what we are doing here.”
“The players can correspond with me, tell me what they are doing. There will be a players’ area where they will be monitored. Through this the players’ needs will be addressed by the coaches. We will also encourage blogging where players, the other support staff and the media can interact with the coach or post their ideas. There will be a marketing package too,” he said.
The coach needed around four weeks to come to a conclusion how good the present lot is. “You are only as good as your players. We need to find out what is good in the team and make it better. We have a huge number now and we aim to bring it down to around 48 by the end of this month. We are looking at a core group of 29. That keeps competition going between the players who are already there. I want them to give more than what they think they have. I want their heart and soul and more.”
On his stint as a grassroots coach, Nobbs said: “I never had the ambition to be a top-level international coach. I instead wanted to train youngsters. I have trained various teams in Western Australia. Even as a player I have coached teams. I spent two years learning about coaching in the University of Western Australia. You actually learn to be a coach when you are coaching in the grassroots. You learn to handle difficult players, learn compassion, humility and get the best out of your players.”
On selection, Nobbs said: “It will be a collective decision. At this stage I have to rely on people who know the players. We all agree, it won’t be a problem when we have a structure in place and the talent shows. I will have the final say but not just yet.”