The World Series Hockey will not only contribute to enhancement of the profile of hockey in India, but also provide a highly professional environment and leadership to each of the eight franchise teams. All the Head Coaches will have a retinue of support staff that includes a Coach, High Performance Manager, Team Manager, Physio, Video Analyst, Team Doctor and two Masseurs.
Following the Draft of players earlier this week, an array of former international stars and men with proven coaching ability have come on board as team coaches to assist the Head Coach. The coaches include: former India star Ashish Ballal (Mumbai), Darryl D’Souza (Delhi), Romeo James (Chennai), Charles Gaudoin (Chandigarh), Jorge Dabanch (Punjab), Shanmugam (Bangalore), Senthil Kumar (Bhopal) and Rahul Singh (Pune).
While Ballal, D’Souza and James represented India with distinction, Dabanch, Gaudoin have vast coaching experience. Shanmugam has been associated with the Jude Felix Hockey Academy in Bangalore since its inception and Senthil Kumar has been a player of note on the domestic front. The coaches will play critical roles in getting their teams up to speed for the tournament as they will also double up as sounding boards for the Head Coach besides ensuring effective implementation of game plans and tactics.
Ashish Ballal, the Mumbai team coach and a member of the 1998 Asian Games gold medal winning Indian team, said, “These are exciting times for Indian hockey. The Draft system, for instance, is a fantastic concept and it has ensured that all the teams are well matched and balanced in terms of talent and potential. This alone will ensure some exciting hockey.
“Personally, I am looking forward to my tenure with Andrew Meredith who is a tech freak. It is a fantastic opportunity for not just me to learn and for the youngsters in the side to get a feel of international hockey. The fact that each team has support staff like a physio, video analyst besides others, is itself a big step forward for Indian hockey.”
Karl Da Costa, Deputy General Manager, Nimbus Sport, said: “The highly professional support staff is evidence of how serious we are in our commitment to hockey. It is our intention to provide quality leadership to each of the franchise teams while the young Indian players will definitely benefit from this professional environment that will also help them lift their performance level.”