India’s Australian coach Michael Nobbs says his home country owes a hockey debt to India, a debt he is playing his part to repay.
“India taught Australia how to play hockey. It’s a debt that I’m partially paying back because I’ve got such a great love for Indian hockey,” said the 58-year-old.
“And hockey lovers love to see an Indian hockey team that’s out there producing the sparkling magic that it once used to do, and that’s what we’re trying to get back to,” Nobbs continued.
But Nobbs recognised that the era was long over when any team could be as dominant as India were in winning gold medals at every Games from 1928 to 1956, plus golds in 1964 and 1980. Although Australia ahve come close.
“It will never happen again. It could happen with the Australian team, they’ve been dominant since I was playing. For the last 30 years they’ve never finished worse than fourth in any competition,” said Nobbs who played for Australia from 1977 to 1985.
On the back of that Australian success, his countryemn and women have been sought-after coaches across the globe. “You just have to look at our record. If you want to be the best, copy the best. If you want to be the best, copy what Australia does, they’ve got a proven track record,” Nobbs said.
Nobbs said Australia and Germany were clear medal contenders, after that the teams were closely matched.”Apart from Australia and Germany, they’re clearly better than the rest of us. The others? I think it will be reasonably close, so it’s going to depend on the day and the umpires.”