The search continues for Indian men’s hockey team new coach after Australian Graham Reid stepped down after the national team’s downbeat World Cup performance. The curiosity over who would take over the coaching mantle from Graham Reid has grown manifold with the names of Argentinian Max Caldas (current Spain men’s hockey team coach) and Siegfriend Aikman (current Pakistan’s men’s hockey team coach floating around alongside New Zealander Shane McLeod (currently Assistant Coach of Belgium men’s hockey team coach).
However, in stark contrast to what has been talked about in public domain, Siegfried Aikman is actually not in the race for the India coach job. The Dutchman, who is serving as chief coach of the Pakistan’s men’s hockey team coach and also battling with non-payment of long-standing salary from the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) hasn’t even applied for the India men’s team coach job. “I haven’t applied for the India coach job. I know there is a lot of talk in India about being one of the frontrunners but I took a call not to apply this time around. Of course, I’m available for the future if Hockey India wants my services. They would know how to reach out to me,” says Aikman in a chat with Hockey Passion.
Aikman agrees that getting a high-quality coach would be a challenge for sure. “With the Olympics just a year left, many coaches would not like to change roles and would have already firmed up their plans for the Olympics. Having said that I wish Hockey India all the best in their search for Graham Reid’s replacement,” he says.
Hockey Passion has already documented that New Zealander Shane McLeod isn’t keen for the India coach job, while Max Caldas has been tight-lipped about the same. It remains to be seen what options Hockey India has at its disposal to find Graham Reid’s replacement.