Hockey India sacks Jude Felix

New Delhi: Hockey India on Wednesday sacked the junior men’s hockey team coach Jude Felix after the National side finished a disappointing sixth in the just-concluded eight-nation tournament in Madrid.

The development came to light after HI advertised for the position on its official website on Wednesday.

A source in HI said the decision to remove Jude was on expected lines following a series of below-par performances by the reigning junior world champions.

“It was expected, especially after India’s below-par performance in the recent eight-nation tournament in Madrid,” the HI source told PTI.

In that tournament earlier this month, the Indian colts lost 0-4 to Australia, 2-3 to Netherlands, 1-3 to Spain and 1-2 to Great Britain. India’s only win in the event was against Austria (4-2).

Jude, who took over the reins in August 2017, confirmed the development. “Yes, I am no longer the coach of the junior team. I was conveyed the decision 2-3 days via an email,” he said.

According to the advertisement published by HI on its website, the new coach will be given a contract till December 31, 2021 i.e. till the Junior World Cup, subject to the satisfactory completion of a six-month probation period. The last date for the submission of applications is July 5.

Our Special Correspondent adds from Bengaluru:

Felix felt the Indian team had come a long way during his tenure, a period in which the side also won a silver medal at the Youth Olympic Games.

“The team has improved a lot in the last two years,” he said. “I was 100% sure we were going to win the Junior World Cup (in 2020). But I was never sure of my own position; I was just working from camp to camp.

“The teams that we played (in Madrid) all fielded a lot of older players who won’t be featuring in the Junior World Cup, whereas we had the same bunch that we intended to take to the tournament next year.”