Hyderabad: With Rajinder Singh Junior reportedly not interested in continuing as coach of the Indian hockey team, the hunt for his successor has begun. Former Olympian Mukesh Kumar told NDTV that he would be interested in the top job but would like to be an assistant coach first. The former Olympian who coached India's Under-18 team last year, says he is disturbed at the lows to which Indian hockey has plummetted. India failed to make it to the last four at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games. "Experience is very important. Playing is one thing, coaching another. I want to start as an assistant coach and then if the Federation is willing I can take the coach's job," said Mukesh Kumar. Right credentials Mukesh's credentials are impeccable. The less flamboyant half of the Dhanraj Pillay-Mukesh Kumar combine, the star forward played three Olympics and two World Cups before calling it a day in 2003. "I saw in the Premier Hockey League recently that players are not playing Asian style of attacking hockey. I saw it only in patches. We need to strengthen the basics of Indian hockey," said Mukesh Kumar. Mukesh has just been allotted five acres in Hyderabad by the state government to build a hockey academy. If KPS Gill and team give Mukesh the go-by, it will be the gain of 20 boys in the Under-14 age group in Hyderabad.
Topics : Hockey