My job is to make players play to their potential: Brasa

May 5th, 2009 - 8:52 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, May 5 (IANS) Newly-appointed national hockey coach Jose Manuel Brasa said his role would be to help the talented Indian players achieve their potential.
Brasa, who took over as coach of the team Monday, said his immediate goal will be a podium finish in the New Delhi World Cup and then gold in the 2010 Asian Games that will automatically give them a berth at the London Olympics.

The Spaniard said his approach to coaching would be scientific with technological inputs.

To implement his plan, he said, he would require a strong 14-member support staff including assistant coaches, physical trainer, physiotherapist, doctors and a video analyst.

Brasa, who coached the Spanish women’s team to a medal at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, said ideally he would have liked the contract till the 2012 Olympics.

“I wanted the tenure to be till the 2012 Olympics. The contract has undergone a lot of changes, but let’s not go into that. It is not a problem. We have made a positive beginning with the ad-hoc committee and the Sports Ministry providing all the support,” Brasa said in his first free-wheeling interaction with the media Tuesday.

“Players are most important in any sport. The best coach is one who gets the best out of his players. My job is to help the players achieve their best.”

For Brasa, the style of hockey is not that important, what is required is that the players must be comfortable with whatever pattern they adopt. For India, the ideal style should be one of attack-oriented.

“India’s weapon is attack and I would like continue with it. In doing so, the defenders might get exposed, but we will find a way to beef-up defence.”

“To start with, I will be aiming for a World Cup semi-final and the Indian players can do it as they will have the home advantage. After that the gold at the 2010 Asian Games

would be the target as that would see India automatically qualify for the London Olympics.

“I do want to coach India forever. My aim would be to put India on a path that will take them to greater heights. I would like to train Indian coaches who should then carry forward. Essentially, I am here to share my hockey knowledge.”

He concurred with Ric Charlesworth’s assessment of India needing at least four years to become a top-flight international team adding that there should be advanced planning to achieve the goal.

“We have to impart scientific training and it takes time. We have to work hard towards a common goal. The results might now come immediately, but slowly it will show.”

Brasa said he has seen the Indian play at the Madrid Olympic qualifiers before the Athens games and even video-recorded their games.

Brasa said he would be keen on acquiring a smattering of Hindi so that he could communicate with the players better.

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