Argentine Max Caldas and Dutchman Siegfried Aikman are in contention to replace Graham Reid as Indian men’s hockey team head coach after the recent World Cup debacle, sources in Hockey India said.
According to a HI source, the federation is in talks with a two to three prospective foreign names after the position fell vacant following Australian Reid’s resignation post joint ninth place finish.
“We expected the team to raise its performance after the Tokyo Olympics bronze medal win but it all went downhill. Reid has done a remarkable job and helped India win an Olympic medal but of late, the performance of the team dipped alarmingly,” the source told PTI on conditions of anonymity.
“We are in talks with 2-3 candidates but rest assured we will bring the best who can take India to the next level.” It has been learnt that apart from Caldas, Dutchman Aikman, who has not been paid for the last 10 months by Pakistan Hockey Federation is a serious contender to take up India job.
When queried if any Indian name will be considered for the post, he replied,”Please tell me who do you think is the best coach in India currently. If you give us names, we will definitely consider.” “The Asian Games is scheduled this year and the Paris Olympics is next year so whoever comes will have to deliver in both the events. We want the team to be at its best in both the tournaments,” he added.
Australian Reid, who joined the national team in April 2019, was part of the Indian team that won a historic bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics and silver medal at the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
But he had to quit after the host nation failed to qualify for the quarterfinals of the World Cup, which concluded last month in Odisha.
Reid’s term was till next year’s Paris Olympics, subject to review after the World Cup.Not just Reid, his support staff — analytical coach Greg Clarke and scientific advisor Mitchell David Pemberton too resigned along with him.