Another Switch! Men’s Hockey Coach Harendra Singh to Coach Jr Team
‘With a vision and emphasis on building a strong player base ahead of the 2021 Junior World Cup and the 2020, 2024 Olympic Games, Hockey India High Performance and Development Committee met on Monday, 7 January 2019 and recommended to reassign Dronacharya Awardee Harendra Singh as the Coach for the Indian Junior Men's Hockey Team,’ says the official media statement sent out by Hockey India announcing yet another reassignment of Harendra Singh.
A demotion wrapped in the words of a promotion.
In clearer terms, Indian men’s national coach Harendra Singh has been sacked and will now once again coach the junior men’s national team, where his long stint with Hockey India started, in 2014.
A Full Circle
Singh’s first assignment in India was four years back when he was named the coach of the junior men’s team and helped them to the 2016 Junior World Cup title.
He was then made the coach of the Indian women’s team in 2017 and then subsequently promoted to the top job as the coach of the Indian men’s team after India's medal-less showing at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
However, he was unable to change the team's fortunes.
India were below-par in the Asian Games in Indonesia, settling for a bronze after going into the tournament as the defending champions. The team then ended the year with a quarter-final loss in the World Cup in Bhubaneswar.
The Hockey India statement also adds that Singh’s new tenure as the junior national coach will begin in March, 2019 when he joins the camp.
The mercurial rise of some of India’s top junior hockey players under the tutelage of Harendra Singh between 2013 - 2016 when the India Colts lifted the historic Junior Men’s World Cup in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh and Harendra Singh’s abilities of grooming youngsters has been the key reasons for the think-tank at Hockey India to arrive at this recommendation.Hockey India statement
No replacement has been named for Singh as yet with Hockey India saying they will soon advertise to invite applications for the position.
The men’s teams’ next camp is slated to begin next month ahead of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup scheduled to start from 23 March 2019.
In the interim the team will be overseen by Hockey India High Performance Director, David John and current Analytical Coach, Chris Ciriello.