The Indian men’s hockey team is in Australian hands for the next five years with Michael Nobbs appointed coach till the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.Michael Nobbs comes out of the SAI office after his appointment on Wednesday. K. AsifDutchman Roelant Oltmans was considered by many to be the frontrunner for the job, but the authorities chose Nobbs based on the argument that the Australian style of hockey was similar to India’s and hence will not involve much change at this crucial juncture.”It was a unanimous decision from Hockey India, Sports Authority of India ( SAI), government observers and a few eminent former players,” SAI director general Desh Deepak Verma said on Wednesday.The Australian will be paid 10,000 Australian dollars per month. For the first time, there will be a performance-based incentive for the coach. If India qualify for next year’s London Olympics, Nobbs’s salary will be hiked by 10 per cent.”If we do well at the Olympics, the contract will be revised after further discussion and negotiations,” Verma said.Nobbs’s only previous international coaching assignment has been with the Japanese women’s team a few years ago. He has a business back home and is the coaching director for Western Australia, besides being at the helm of Rockingham Redbacks in the national league.”We hired him on the basis of his experience and organisational capabilities. His bio- data and the presentation he made were also impressive,” the SAI director general said.Oltmans, who has guided the Netherlands to World Cup and Olympic glory in both men’s and women’s hockey, is said to have set ideas about structure, set-pieces and efficiency. He may have asked for drastic changes which the authorities were not keen on.advertisement”The most important factor in his appointment was that the Australian style is similar to ours and suits us. If Australia can be on top playing this style, why can’t India,” Verma said.The national camp starts in Bangalore on Friday, and Nobbs will join it on Sunday. After attending it for a week, he will go back home to wind things up and return at month- end, Hockey India secretary general Narinder Batra said.”Accommodation will also be provided to the coach and if he wants he can bring his family here also,” he said, adding that money was not a factor at all in the choice of coach.”With the Olympic qualifiers approaching, we did not want to make drastic changes to the style with players having to take up unfamiliar positions. Money was not a consideration.” Verma said Nobbs will stay even if India did not manage to seal an Olympic berth.”Qualifying for London is our goal, but even if we don’t manage that, our past experience has shown that we need to have a long- term engagement with a coach,” he said.Nobbs will bring with him exercise physiologist David John, who will be paid 5,000 Australian dollars per month, with Hockey India contributing towards that amount. “Some others may also join later as per requirement,’ Verma added.In another significant announcement, the new coach will also be part of the selection committee and will have a major say.Nobbs, who was part of the Aussie side that finished fourth at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, admitted that it would be his most high- profile assignment yet but denied there was any pressure on him. “There are no reservations. I have been promised a free hand,” he said.”It is not only about me. The administration, players, system and public support need to pull together to make India successful in both the long and the short term. I would need inputs from everyone.”About his roadmap, Nobbs said: “I first need to know where we are starting from. I have seen India play but need to know the individual personalities.A lot of processes need to be followed and detailed analysis done. “Technique is not a difficult matter as the Indian and Australian styles are similar.”Nobbs added that even if India fails in their short- term goal of Olympic qualification, it will be his endeavour that the team keeps improving.He said he had personal reasons to take up the job as well. “My first hockey coaches were Indians and Australia has been influenced by Indian hockey a lot.”There are a lot of Anglo- Indians in the Australian coaching system and I have many Indian friends. I love Indian culture and this is my way of giving something back,” Nobbs added.advertisementErstwhile coach Harendra Singh may be back as the assistant or may be put in charge of the development, junior or sub-junior squad. Australia and India’s similar styles of play sealed deal.The fine printWas selected over Dutchmen Roelant Oltmans and Jacques BrinkmanWill be in charge till 2016 Rio de Janeiro OlympicsWill take over from the national camp in Bangalore on the weekendTo be paid A$10,000 per month ($10,600 approx) with provision for performance-based incentivesWill bring own exercise physiologist, who will be paid A$5,000 per month ($5,300 approx)Will be part of the selection committeeSAI opens stadia for corporatesSeveral stadia built or renovated at huge cost for last year’s Commonwealth Games have not been fully utilised after the mega event, but the Sports Authority of India (SAI) has now decided to open them up.The government’s ‘Come and Play’ scheme is already being implemented at the various SAI stadia in the Capital, and director general Desh Deepak Verma has decided to go a step further.”There have been reports that the stadia are not being utilised to their optimum capacity. The Come and Play scheme is already in force there.”Training to our elite sportspersons, national camps and international tournaments are also lined up,” Verma said.He informed that other organisations that want to utilise the stadia can do so now.”We will give them for other events organised by national federations, clubs, state associations, schools, colleges and corporates,” the SAI director general said.”We cannot let our stadia be under-utilised. We hope to use them better and will be inviting corporates to utilise them,” Verma added.