David John’s association with Indian hockey comes to an end

High performance director David John had recently extended his contract with SAI to stay on with Hockey India until September 2021.

By Utathya Nag

The Sports Authority on India (SAI), on Tuesday, said that it has accepted the resignation of David John from the post of the high performance director of Hockey India.

The Australian had tendered his resignation to both Hockey India and SAI on August 18 citing health concerns due to the COVID-19 pandemic situation in India.

In his email to SAI and Hockey India, John had expressed his desire to return to Australia, the SAI said.

Hockey India had accepted John’s resignation earlier but SAI – John’s official employers – took a week to accept the resignation.

The timing of his resignation comes as a surprise considering David John had, very recently, signed a contract extension with SAI till September 2021.

David John has been a prominent figure in Indian hockey team for the past decade. His association with Indian hockey teams began in 2011, when he was appointed as the physio of the Indian men’s hockey team under the then head coach Michael Nobbs.

During his first stint in India, he was credited with drastically improving the fitness levels of the Indian hockey players. He, however, left his post after a poor showing by the Indian men’s hockey team at the London 2012 Olympics.

John returned to India in 2016 after being appointed as the high performance director of Hockey India after the Olympic Games in Rio. He has, since then, played a pivotal part in the development of hockey in the country and even designed Hockey India's current coaching program.

David John had been in India since the global COVID-19 outbreak and was working from his home in New Delhi during the enforced lockdown.

SAI is yet to comment on any possible replacement for the Australian.