Terry Walsh perfect for Indian hockey: Evers

New Delhi, Dec 8: Two-time Olympic medallist and Dutch junior hockey team manager Floris Evers feels that Terry Walsh, who was recently appointed the Indian men’s team coach, is the right man to guide the eight-time Olympic champions.

Evers, who played for champions Ranchi Rhinos in the inaugural Hockey India League (HIL), told IANS that Walsh should be given a longer run.

Evers was member of the Dutch team, coached by Walsh, that got the silver medal in the 2004 Athens Games.

The former Dutch captain vouched for Walsh’s credentials and hoped that India would do well under him.

“India have a good coach now. Terry was with me in Athens and is one of the best coaches who had trained me and I think he is the perfect guy for India. He is not only a good coach but a good human too. I think India will do well under him but he needs to be given his time,” Evers told IANS on the sidelines of the ongoing Hockey Junior World Cup at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium here.

Having played the HIL with some of the young Indian players, Evers, who retired last year after the London Games with the silver, said India are improving step by step.

“I really hope India comes back to the top because I love the country and its passion for hockey. They are coming through step by step. It is a mental thing too. If they lose a game, there is pressure from all others and the players feel it. In their minds they don’t know how good they are,” said the 30-year-old Dutch star.

Evers also feels that the vastly experienced Indian team could be strong contenders for the junior World Cup.

“India can win the tournament. They have good players and are good at penalty corners. Being the hosts there is pressure on them. But they are also an experienced side,” said Evers.

Evers picked out his Ranchi Rhinos team mates Manpreet Singh and Mandeep Singh as bright prospects.

“I know Manpreet Singh very well. Mandeep Singh and Kothajit Khadangbam are also good prospects for India. They are quite technical,” added Evers.

The Dutch junior hockey team manager was also happy with the way his team, who are one of the favourites, made a winning start in the tournament beating India 3-2.

“The 3-2 win was perfect for us. In a tournament you need to win the first game as you build your confidence on it. I am pretty happy. The match was a good step ahead for us as India is a tough opponent. First, we want to go through to the quarterfinals but we are taking it game-by-game right now,” said Evers, who also has three Champions Trophy titles to his name.

IANS