Max Caldas from Argentina and Siegfried Aikman from the Netherlands are being considered to take over from Graham Reid as head coach of the Indian men’s hockey team following their poor performance at the recent World Cup, according to sources within Hockey India.
An HI source revealed that the federation is in discussions with two to three potential foreign candidates to fill the vacancy left by Australian Reid, who resigned after a disappointing ninth-place finish at the 2023 FIH World Cup.
“We had expected the team to perform well after their bronze medal win at the Tokyo Olympics, but unfortunately things went downhill. Reid did a great job and played a key role in helping India win an Olympic medal, but the team’s performance has dropped significantly in recent times,” the anonymous source told PTI.
“We are in talks with 2-3 candidates, but we will certainly bring on board the best candidate who can take India to the next level.” It is understood that in addition to Caldas, Aikman, who has not been paid by the Pakistan Hockey Federation for the last 10 months, is a serious contender for the job in India.
When asked whether any Indian coaches were being considered, the source replied, “Can you name the best coach currently in India? If you give us some names, we will certainly consider them.” “The Asian Games are scheduled for this year, followed by the Paris Olympics, so whoever takes on this role will need to deliver positive results in both tournaments. We want the team to perform at their best in both events,” they added.
Australian Graham Reid, who joined the Indian team in April 2019, played a major role in helping the team secure a historic bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics and a silver medal at the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
However, he was forced to resign after the team failed to qualify for the quarterfinals of the World Cup held in Odisha last month.
Reid’s tenure was due to continue until next year’s Paris Olympics, subject to review following the World Cup.
In addition to Reid, his support staff, including analytical coach Greg Clarke and scientific advisor Mitchell David Pemberton, also resigned.