Harendra Singh the best coach for India, says Sandeep Singh

Former India hockey player Sandeep Singh has hailed Harendra Singh as the one of the best tacticians in the country.

Former India dragflicker Sandeep Singh felt that the constant chopping and changing of personnel is not helping Indian hockey.   -  PTI

He may have been shunted out for “disappointing performance” but Harendra Singh continues to get the backing of former players in the country as the best Indian hockey coach. On Wednesday, Sandeep Singh added his voice to the same.

“There is no one better than him for the Indian team. I have played under him at all levels – junior and senior in the national team and at Indian Airlines as well. There is hardly anyone in India who has the know-how of modern hockey in India and he is one of the few,” Sandeep said on the sidelines of the launch of Flicker Brothers, his brand of hockey academies here.

Read: Harendra refutes claims of refusing junior post, with conditions

“Not just in sports or coaching, in any job a person takes 3-4 months to settle down and plan his work ahead. Here, he had only that much to coach the Indian team. And with the FIH Series Finals – one of the Olympic qualifying events -- less than six months away, anyone who comes in will take time to understand the players and their psyche,” he added.

He was also against the constant chopping and changing of players. “Most of the Belgium team that won the World Cup was the same that I played against in 2008 after my comeback at the Azlan Shah Cup that year. That is the continuity needed to be successful,” he said.

Harendra Singh was made the coach of India's junior team after the senior team was eliminated at the 2018 World Cup in Bhubaneswar.   -  Getty Images

The former star drag-flicker, along with his brother Bikramjit Singh, also a former India international, has tied up with Frantel Biz, a franchise management company with the ambitious plan of having 100 academies across India in the next three years with possible international expansion in future.

“We have already approached several schools and colleges across the country with very positive response for the academies. Hopefully the first one will be operational in the next 1-1.5 months,” Sandeep explained about his venture.

Also Read: India grouped against Japan, South Africa in FIH Series Finals

He also plans to rope in former players as coaches. “Some of them may not have jobs and this will help them earn a living. But we will make sure they have an aptitude for coaching as well. We are looking at younger players who have the experience of playing on turf,” he said, adding he would also be involved in coaching and co-ordinating across the academies.

While the initial investment for a franchise would be around 15 lakhs, the venture would involve little or no cost to the associated schools. “We will provide the infrastructure, coaches, support staff and even possible scholarships for deserving kids. We are in talks with manufacturers for supplying hybrid, small-sized turfs on no-profit, no-loss basis. These turfs require no water or complex laying process, are long-lasting and low maintenance and can be used for multiple sports including football,” he said.

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