More than a decade after he left Indian shores for better opportunities in Singapore, former captain Jude Sebastian Felix is among the frontrunners to take over as India's hockey coach but is yet to get a formal offer for the job.
"I have not received any offer as of now. I have read it in media reports only. But if any such offer comes my way, I will definitely consider it," Felix told PTI from Singapore. Felix started his national hockey career in 1983 and eventually led the squad in the 1994 World Cup.
He then shifted to Singapore in 1995 as a player-cum-coach and took charge of youth development at the Singapore Recreation Club (SRC). In his inaugural season, SRC won the Johor Bahru league.
The former centre half from Bangalore has said coaching is now his bread and butter and he expects to be paid well in case HI decide to hire him.
"I am working here for almost 15 years now and getting good salary. I certainly want to coach the Indian team but to do that, I have to look at several aspects. I mean, after all, coaching is now my profession and I have to look it that way," he said.
Felix, however, said it will be premature to say anything until he gets an offer from India.
There is speculation that famous Dutch coach Roelant Oltmans is one of the frontrunners to be the chief coach of Indian Hockey team.
Felix may be roped in to assist him. Asked if only a foreign coach is the answer to India's woes, Felix said, "You have to be careful while appointing any foreign coach. They (HI) must bring reputed coach not any Tom, Dick or Harry. Oltmans is a good choice without any doubt." Felix said he would not mind working with Oltmans for the Indian team.
"It could be interesting to work with him. I don't have any problem in that," said Felix.
Meanwhile, Pargat Singh, who heads a five-member committee to identify a foreign coach before India's important assignments, including men's Champions Trophy in December and the first Olympic qualifier in February at home, said there will be an elaborate staff in place for the team.
"We are in talks with two-three top coaches. A foreign coach will be assisted by an Indian coach. As far as Jude is concerned, I have played Hockey with him and I know that his experience will come in handy but the picture will be clear in the coming week only," he said, while declining to reveal any name.