Last word by coach Retegui
THE HAGUE — The question most asked at this month’s hockey World Cups was how a coach can be in charge of two teams playing almost at the same time. It had never been done before in international competition.
The repeated questions were for Argentine coach Carlos Retegui who was in charge of both the women’s and men’s teams. He never acknowledged a problem and gave all sorts of answers — some humorous — but the real answer is that Carlos is a hockey fanatic and when he said he could work at the game for 24 hours a day, he may have been overdoing it, but he drove home the point that for someone who wants to do nothing else it was easy.
He will now continue as head coach of Argentine national teams, but will only directly coach the men’s team which has made enormous progress under him. Retegui’s tremendous enthusiasm for the game is contagious and the players have certainly caught it. His contract to coach the women’s team only covered this World Cup.
Future plans include six concentrations of players in different parts of Argentina with the aim of finding new talent and also to get more boys taking up the game. Retegui is a staunch supporter of the “K” party, but whether this is out of conviction or because it gets a lot of benefits for the game is not quite clear.
Is he going to decide who will be the next women’s coach? No, he said, because there are very capable officials who will discuss the matter as Argentina is a democracy since he will give his opinion if they ask him. One might mention that Senator Aníbal Fernández, the president of the Argentine Hockey Confederation was at the press conference for the first time.
BEACH HOCKEY. I was asked if I had ever played beach hockey, after mentioning that the first ever beach hockey world cup was played in The Hague at the same time as the field hockey world cups. As a matter of fact, I have tried it (in Miramar) and jolly hard work it was. This beach hockey world cup was played with a bigger ball — in between the size of a hockey and a soccer ball — but it appeared to be still heavy work. Matches only lasted six minutes of actual play. The idea is to play the ball in the air as much as possible.