Jose Brasa: Indian Hockey Saviour




Jose Brasa

Jose Brasa

First time when I saw a hockey match it was Asian Games final of 1998 and Indian team had beaten Korea in penalties and won the Gold medal for India after a period of 32 years. It has been nearly 12 years and lot has changed for Indian hockey in those 12 years. Despite the changes in the fortunes (from good to bad and then again good) of the on field performance, the same cannot be said about the administration part of Indian hockey. It has just been the same, or we can say it has gone down due to power hungry and greedy people at the helm of Indian hockey.

Many hockey fans were happy when KPS Gill was shown the door and a new federation was formed known as Hockey India. They started off very well by bringing Jose Brasa a very experienced hockey coach to manage the Indian men’s team. After few months, it was same story all over again. Jose Brasa like every other Indian hockey coach started facing difficulties and there was no one to listen to him. According to some of the Olympians (read: selectors) Jose Brasa was not the coach that Indian team needed and Hockey India started clipping his wings too (he had not even learned to fly properly). Two days before when his tenure ended I wished that the person who had helped Indian hockey to win couple of Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, CWG silver medal and Asian Games bronze medal should be retained and he should be allowed to continue as the coach of Indian hockey team at-least till London Olympics.

Sure Indian hockey missed on Gold medal and automatic qualification for Olympics, but the way the Indian play hockey has surely improved in his tenure. Gone are the days when Indian team was just playing like robots. Now Indian hockey team has started to think and play the game. It is true that we are no match against Europeans and Australians in terms of physical strength, but Indian players are better skilled than all other players around the world. So Indian hockey does not need a coach who can teach the players how to hold the stick but the players have to be taught the tactics of the game and I cannot see any Indian coach having ability to do that.

Hockey has changed a lot but our past players and coaches have not changed. They still think that it’s the same hockey that is played on grass. But this is far from reality, hockey has totally changed and it’s not only about skills but today’s hockey is more about tactics. The Dutch were good in that, Australians have perfected it; even teams like Pakistan are going forward with that. Indian team under Jose Brasa was trying to do the same and he did succeed to a certain extent, but with talks of not renewing his contract is a step backward for the development of the game in India. Looking the performance of last two years one cannot doubt the ability of Jose Brasa due to results produced by Indian hockey team. When Brasa first time saw the Indian team he came out with a dream of not losing to Pakistan ever again during his tenure (Indian team lost to Pakistan when he first saw the team). And since then India has not lost a single game to Pakistan and has beaten them convincingly in every game since then. And we should also remember the semi-final of CWG against England when the team performed well and beat them.

Jose Brasa wants to stay with Indian hockey team despite all the things he has gone through with the officials of Indian hockey. It is time for Hockey India to think from heart and not from mind. Hockey India should save Indian hockey from going back to the pits and Jose Brasa has the ability to turn things around for the team and may be with hard work we may win a medal in the forthcoming Olympics. Jose Brasa is not just a coach for Indian hockey he is a saviour of Indian hockey and he should be retained as a coach for the Indian team. Save Brasa, Save Indian Hockey.

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Jimmy Bhogal

Author:

Loves Hockey, Lives Hockey.

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