South Africa's Gregg Clark to coach Indian juniors

New Delhi, April 7 (IANS) Hockey India (HI) Sunday named South African Gregg Clark as head coach of the men's junior team.

HI secretary general Narinder Batra said the appointment of Clark was an important step ahead of the junior World Cup to be played in India at the end of the year.

"Being the hosts of the Junior World Cup, I think this is the best opportunity for India to achieve a top-three finish in the tournament. We are confident that under the guidance of Clark and (coach) Baljeet Saini, the Indian team will be well prepared for this mega event," he said.

Clark, who is very excited to take on this new assignment, said India has rich talent in hockey and the junior team has enormous potential.

"I have been to India many times and after coaching Ranchi Rhinos in the inaugural season of Hockey India League, I can say that Indian hockey has a very bright future. I look forward to working again with Baljeet Saini, who along with the other coaching staff have done a great job with the team," he added.

Clark coached South Africa for seven years and during his tenure, the team played 120 internationals including two Olympics in 2008 and 2012, World Cup 2010 and Commonwealth Games 2010.

As a player, Clark has over 250 international caps and has represented South Africa in two World Cups in Sydney 1994 and Kuala Lumpur 2002, two Olympics, two Commonwealth Games and three All Africa Games in 1995, 1999 and 2003.

Clark will commence his Indian assignment from April 13.