The Indian Hockey Federation on Friday formally appointed Joaquim Joqauim Carvalho chief coach of the Indian hockey team even though it said that the search for a foreign coach is on.
The fate of the Carvalho-led coaching team, appointed till the Olympic qualifiers, is on the tenterhooks since the IHF has made it clear that it is looking for a foreign coach for "long term targets".
"This type and level of coaches are not easily available and certainly not at short notice, hence we have to appoint a chief coach in view of the preparations for the prestigious Sultan Azlan Shah Cup," IHF secretary K Jothikumaran said in a statement.
"This does not replace our efforts to find an international coach that will fit our requirements.
"Our main target is to win the Champions Challenge at Belgium (June 23 to July 1) and qualify for the Olympics," he added.
Jothikumaran said the coaching staff has been "appointed till the Olympic qualifiers" and their future would depend on performance.
Clarifying the term 'international coach,' Jothikumaran said, "It is a foreign coach. Since everybody is saying foreign coach, we thought of finding another term."
Apart from chief coach Carvalho, former defender and Olympian Mohinder Pal Singh was appointed coach while Ramesh Parmeswaran, who represented India in 1978 Asian Games, was named assistant coach.
Meanwhile, midfielder Ignace Tirkey and forward Arjun Halappa were left out from a lst of 31 robables for the Azlan Shah tournament,scheduled at Ipoh, Malaysia, from May 5-13.
However, drag-flicker Sandeep Singh, who was recovering from a bullet injury sustained before the World Cup last year, has been named among the probables.
The list has strong flavour of Orissa Steelers, the
Premier Hockey League champions this year, with at least nine of its players being included among the probables.
The camp for the probables will be held at the SAI Centre in Bangalore from April 2 to 30.
Goalkeepers: Adrian D'Souza, Sreejesh, Bharat Chetri, Baljit Singh, Dinesh Ekka.
Full Backs: Dilip Tirkey, William Xalxo, Raghunath, Harpal Singh, Sandeep Singh
Mid-fielders: Pawal Lakra, Gurbaj Singh, Dhananjay Mahadik, Prabodh Tirkey, Sardara Singh, Senthil Kumar, Bimal Lakra, Sunil Yadav, Vickram Kanth.
Forwards: Shivendra Singh, Tushar Khandekar, Damandeep Singh, Bruno Hadrian, Sunil Ekka, Roshan Minz, Jarnail Singh, V Raja, Gagan Ajit Singh, Ravi Pal, Bharat Chikara, Sarwan Singh.
Officials: Joaquim Carvalho (chief coach), M P Singh (coach), Ramesh Parmeswaran (Asst. coach), Srikanth (physio).