Former Australian Olympian Terry Walsh was on Tuesday appointed chief coach of India’s faltering field hockey team, replacing compatriot Michael Nobbs who was sacked in June.
Walsh, a previous national coach of the Malaysian and Australian teams, is charged with turning India around, after the eight-time Olympic gold medallists finished last in the 2012 Games in London.
“I will ensure no stone is left unturned in India’s quest to return to the pinnacle of world hockey,” Walsh said in a statement.
Walsh, 59, was until recently the technical director of the United States field hockey association.
Hockey India did not spell out the details of Walsh’s appointment, but reports said he was expected to remain in charge till the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Walsh will supervise the national team’s campaign at next year’s Asian and Commonwealth Games, and also the World Cup, if India qualify.
“Walsh not only has the experience, but also a vision to develop the senior men’s hockey team into a well-knit professional unit,” Hockey India secretary-general Narinder Batra said in the same statement.
Walsh was quoted as saying that “coaching India must be regarded as the greatest challenge in the hockey world.”
Walsh will work alongside renowned Dutch coach Roelant Oltmans, who was appointed Hockey India’s high performance director in January.
Four foreign coaches — Spaniard Jose Brasa, Australian Ric Charlesworth, Germany’s Gerhard Rach and Nobbs — served as Indian coaches over the last decade before they were all sacked prematurely.