New Delhi: Australian Michael Jack Nobbs was Wednesday appointed coach of the Indian men’s hockey for an unprecedented five-year period, thus becoming the fourth foreign coach to take up the mantle of reviving Indian hockey.
The 57-year-old Nobbs, who succeeds Spaniard Jose Brasa and has been a player himself, will take over charge immediately in the national camp in Bangalore scheduled to start from Friday.
He will oversee the preparatory camp from 3 July till 8 July before flying back to Australia but will rejoin the camp again at the end of the month.
Nobbs’ contract runs till the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and his pay cheque will start at A $10,000 per month.
His remuneration will be hiked by 10% if the struggling Indian hockey team manages to qualify for next year’s London Olympics.
“Under my chairmanship, a committee comprising Sports Authority of India and Hockey India officials and some eminent former players unanimously selected Nobbs as our coach for the period upto 2016 Rio Olympics,” SAI director general Deepak Kumar told reporters.
“The selection was based on several factors, most importantly his experience, organising capabilities, bio-data and the presentation he made before us.
“What weighed heavily in his favour is the fact that the Australian style of hockey suits us. It is similar to ours. We have decided to continue with that as we feel if Australia can be at the top with this style, why can’t we?” he added.
Verma also said that Nobbs can expect another hike if the national team does well next year, as in a first in India hockey, his contract has a clause for performance-based incentives.