Tipped as the front-runner to succeed Roelant Oltmans, World Cup-winning junior coach Harendra Singh will apply for the vacant post of coach for the senior men’s team. Singh believes he is the most capable candidate for the role.

Singh, who was associated with the senior men’s team as national coach from 2009 to 2011, believes his credentials are at par with all the foreign coaches in the world.

“Yes, I will definitely apply, there is no ambiguity in it. But I will submit my application after doing all the home work. I am willing to take over and I promise I will deliver to the expectations of the countrymen,” said Singh.

“I have 21 years of coaching experience and I am going to prepare a blueprint for 2020. My target is always to win a medal in any tournament because I am a desh bhakt (patriot) and I always want to see the tri-colour flying high. A foreign coach will have to start from the scratch. He will not be aware of all the players. But I know these group of players in and out,” he added.

Singh is confident of getting the job as well. “They (HI) can’t ignore me now. I think I’m 100 per cent in the league of the top foreign coaches of the world. But I want to make it clear that I won’t work under any foreign coach except for Ric Charlesworth.”

His chances seem bright after Hockey India’s High Performance Director and the team’s interim coach David John hinted that Singh could be the frontrunner if he opts to apply.

“John knows me since 2011. We have worked together. We have a very good understanding but I won’t like to predict anything. Let’s wait and watch,” said Singh.

Oltmans was sacked after a four-and-half-years stint during in which he also performed the role of High Performance Director before taking up the coaching role in 2015. Although Singh believes removing Oltmans was a right decision, the timing however wasn’t.

“The decision was a right one but I feel HI was a little late. Every team appoints a coach from Olympic cycle to cycle and a new coach now will take time to adjust,” he said.

However, Singh backed Oltmans for his contribution to Indian hockey during his tenure.

“One thing is for sure Oltmans changed a lot of things in Indian hockey. He has changed the thinking of players, pattern of play and training system,” said Singh.

Singh also said that a level of accountability should be fixed for all coaches. “A coach has to be accountable. He or she should not be made to relax and complacent. Foer this to happen perks and luxury of a coach should be made result oriented,” he said.

Besides Harendra, national women’s team coach Sjoerd Marijne and Australian Jay Stacy’s names are doing rounds for the high-profile job.