Hockey India on 22 August announced the appointment of former captain Jude Felix Sebastian as the new coach of the Indian junior men's hockey team.
In the wake of the Indian team's successful Europe Tour that featured nine players from last year's junior men's core group, India's High Performance Director David John emphasized that the programs initiated by Hockey India in the past five to six years are paying dividends with juniors rightfully pushing for a spot in the senior team and, thus, increasing the talent pool in this new Olympic cycle.
The 33-member junior men's core group will train under Jude Felix as they prepare for defending their title of Junior Men World Champions.
"Jude Felix brings with him vast experience as former India Captain as well as a highly reputed Coach. Under him, we want to strengthen the junior core group. With Hockey India's programs structured to bring good results in the 2020 and 2024 Olympic Games, I would expect players from this junior core group to push the seniors for a spot in the team," stated John.
As a player, Felix was a vital cog in the Indian team as a half-back. His composed attitude with a wide vision for hockey's development set him apart from his contemporaries.
Felix is an Arjuna Awardee (1995) and was the captain of the Indian team from 1993-95. He also led the Indian team in the 1993 World Cup and in the Asian Games in 1994 at Hiroshima.
Felix has played more than 250 international matches and represented India in two Olympic Games in 1988 (Korea) and 1992 (Barcelona), two World Cups in 1990 (Pakistan) and 1994 (Sydney), two Asian Games in 1990 (Beijing) and 1994 (Hiroshima) and three Champions Trophy in 1985 (Australia), 1987 (Pakistan) and 1989 (Berlin).
He has also worked as player-cum-coach with Racing Club in Paris (European league and French League) in 1997-2000. He also worked as the Coach of Dutch U-18 National Team in the Leo Van Der Kar in 1997.
His previous stint with the national team was in 2014 when he assisted chief coach for men's team Terry Walsh.
"I am excited to take up this new role. The Junior Core Group was picked basis their performance in the National Championships and this group will be further pruned down to 18-member squad for the Sultan of Johor Cup, our first international tournament for this year," stated Felix.