New Delhi: Close on the heels of Terry Walsh's resignation, another Australian -- women's team coach Neil Hawgood -- has also decided to part ways with Indian hockey and has refused to renew his contract that expires at the end of this year.
It has been learnt that Hawgood is line to be the coach of the Malaysian men's hockey team and that is primarily the reason why he refused an extension with India.
"He has not resigned. The fact is he is not willing to renew his contract, which expires in December this year," a Hockey India official told PTI.
"We were very happy with his performance and he too shared a good working relation with us. So it would be unfair to compare his case with Terry Walsh. He has been with us for the last two-and-a-half years," the official said.
Hockey India also issued a statement confirming that Hawgood would be parting ways with Indian hockey after this year.
"While we are sad that Neil will not be able to extend his contract with the team, we respect his decision and thank him for all his efforts and contribution towards making this team strong and capable to perform with such conviction on the international arena," HI said in a statement.
"Under Neil's able leadership, the Indian women's hockey team has progressed extremely well in the last two-and-half years.
"We are sure this present team is fit to qualify for the upcoming 2016 Olympic Games and if we do so, then the credit will go to him as it is because of his hard work that we will reap such results in the future. We wish him all the best for his future endeavours and would like to convey that his journey with us was fruitful and positive," it added.
Under the Australian's stewardship, who took charge in July 2012, India bagged the bronze at the 2013 Asia Cup and 2014 Incheon Asian Games, a fifth-place finish at this year's Commonwealth Games, finished runner-up at the Asian Champions Trophy last year and won its maiden medal (bronze) at the junior World Cup.
HI also thanked Hawgood for deciding to accompany the women's team for the five-Test series against Italy in December.
"We additionally extend our gratitude to Neil who has agreed to fulfil his commitments and will be accompanying the team to Italy in December, hence highlighting his professional approach towards his work," the statement read.