Sunday, December 18, 2011

Redemption time for Rajinder Singh


Last time when Rajinder Singh (Sr.) was in news, he was seen crying by the players from the flight back from Germany after he was sacked with just 27 days to go for Athens Olympics. 2011 gives Rajinder Singh another chance to be in news (for right reasons) after he was selected to coach Punjab team in World Series Hockey.

Former Indian coach Rajinder Singh
The period from 2002 to 2004 was very eventful for Indian hockey. In April 2002 Rajinder Singh, former right back and PC expert of Indian hockey team was appointed as coach of Indian senior team after he and his group of young boys beat the world to win Junior World Cup for the first time.

Rajinder Singh is anything but an ordinary coach. In the era where the coaches relied on scientific method of coaching, Rajinder Singh relied on traditional pure attacking method of hockey to coach Indian team. His coaching style and man management skills impressed everyone from players to IHF who allowed him to select his own team.

Rajinder Singh had a good belief in youth and he did not waste any time in introducing players who had won the Junior World Cup in the Indian team. Gagajn Ajit Singh, Prabhjot Singh, Deepak Thakur, Jugraj Singh, Viren Rasquinha and other players joined seasoned campaigners like Dhanraj Pillay, Baljit Singh and Dilip Tirkey to form a team which won back to Asia Cup, Afro-Asian Games, and four nations hockey tournament in Australia and Germany. 
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But not all stories have happy ending; he soon lost the support of KPS Gill as he was fired in July 2004 with just 27 days to go for Athens Olympics.

Rajinder Singh has a great opportunity to make his comeback in the mainstream hockey with World Series Hockey. A coach who likes to work with young players (he was coaching young players for SAI before WSH came) will get an opportunity to coach Team Punjab which also boasts of good number of junior players. With team Punjab he will work with Prabhjot Singh and Deepak Thakur, the players who were coached by Rajinder Singh right from their early days. The young players in Punjab team will get a great chance to work with a coach who has always promoted young players all his life.

The young players should relish this opportunity to work with one of the best coach of Indian hockey who has developed some great players during his days. With the man management skills and coaching methods of Rajinder Singh, few more players will surely make it to Indian team. 

Punjab has the most inexperienced team on the paper but having a coach like Rajinder Singh would be great boon to the young players to Punjab team. Expectations from Punjab will be high as always and coach like Rajinder Singh will do his best to get the most of the bunch of young guys.
Rajinder Singh brought players like Gagan Ajit Singh, Deepak Thakur, Prabhjot Singh, Jugraj Singh, Viren Rasquinha and others would went on to become the backbone for Indian team and same will be expected from him in World Series Hockey.
WSH team for Punjab is as follows:

Goalkeepers: Dinesh Ekka, Sukhjeet Singh

Defenders: Harpal Singh, Maik Gunther, Prabhdeep Singh, William Xalco

Midfielders: Andreu Enrich, VS Vinaya, Mathias Vila, Imran Khan

Forwards: Akashdeep Singh, Chris Seddon, Deepak Thakur, Didar Singh, Gagandeep Singh, Gurjant Singh, Inderjit Singh, Karamjit Singh, Mandip Antil, Prabhdeep Singh, Steven Faaij, Tariq Aziz and Prabhjot Singh (C)

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