Wednesday, June 29, 2011


India appointed Australia's Michael Nobbs as men's national team coach, handing him a five-year contract that will see him in charge up to the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

The Sports Authority of India (SAI) and Hockey India said that committee members were unanimous in choosing 57-year-old Nobbs, who played for his country at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles.

"The selection was based on several factors: his experience, organising capabilities and the presentation he made before us," SAI director-general Deepak Kumar told reporters in New Delhi.

"What weighed in his favour is the fact that the Australian style of hockey is similar to ours and we have decided to continue with that."

Nobbs, who said he was "very excited, honoured and privileged" at the appointment, beat top Dutch former players Roelant Oltmans and Jacques Brinkman for the position.

India has been looking for another foreign coach since Spaniard Jose Brasa's contract expired after last year's Asian Games and national coach Harendra Singh failed to deliver results at last month's Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia.

Nobbs will be paid $Aus 10,000 ($10,500) a month with a 10-percent increase if the team qualifies for next year's London Olympics and a further hike if the team does well there, the SAI said.

Eight-time Olympic champions India failed to qualify for Beijing in 2008, ending their run of playing in every Games since 1928.