Bengaluru(PTI): Newly-appointed women’s hockey team coach Harendra Singh has already set his goals and said he expects the Indian eves to win next year’s Asian Games and seal a direct berth to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
“We have already set short-term and long-term goals for the team. While the short-term goal is to win the Asia Cup and directly qualify for the World Cup next year, my mission for 2018 is to win the Asian Games and qualify for the Tokyo Olympics,” he said.
“I believe this is a realistic target,” added Harendra, who has never coached a women team before.
Harendra, known for his taskmaster approach, said discipline and result-oriented performances will be his priority areas.
“This is the first time in my career that I would be coaching a women’s side and I see this as a new challenge.
“Discipline and 100 per cent commitment will remain top priorities. I have followed this group of girls for a while now and they have a strong base, they are focused and understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses after having played together for three to four years,” he said.
“I would like to see them go into every tournament as tough contenders for a medal,” added the Dronacharya awardee coach, who guided India to the Junior World Cup title last year.
The Asia Cup will be the Indian eves first big tournament under Harendra, and High Performance Director David John has high hopes from the team.
“I believe the team has shown improvement. The Asia Cup is an important tournament for the women to win a direct berth for next year’s World Cup. In my opinion, they go into Asia Cup as no. 1 side and I definitely expect them to finish in the final,” said John.
A total of 33 players today reported at the Sports Authority of India here for a four-week national camp that will conclude on October 24.
During the course of the camp, selection trials will be conducted under the purview of national selectors, John, chief coach Harendra Singh.
The trials to pick the 18-member squad will be held on October 4 and 5 here.
The women’s Asia Cup will be held in Kakamigahara, Japan from October 28 to November 5.