Sat, April 28, 2012
Sports > Soccer

Governing body backs controversial coach

2012-04-28 06:37:53 GMT2012-04-28 14:37:53(Beijing Time)  China Daily

By Sun Xiaochen

Despite a dispute with his former CBA club, the Xinjiang Flying Tigers, Bob Donewald has the full support of the sport's governing body in his national role.

Donewald, who was sued by Xinjiang for allegedly advising Australian guard Patrick Mills to fake an injury after being dismissed this January, came back into the media spotlight when he appeared in public at a recent training session after being off the radar for about two months.

Shrugging off the controversial break-up with the Flying Tigers, Donewald said he is comfortable at the national team's helm and is focusing on his Olympic debut.

"I've been in my home and on my boat, I am relaxed," the 41-year-old said. "I've been hungry to get back on this court. I can't tell you how excited I am about this summer."

Although some media wanted his post with the national team to be reconsidered after the chaos at Xinjiang, the governing body has stuck with the American and has praised his efforts to unite the squad and boost the young players' confidence.

"We are always 100 percent supportive of him," said Hu Jiashi, deputy director of the national basketball administrative center.

National team manager Zhang Xiong is also unwavering in his backing of the emotional Michigan native.

"What happened with his club won't affect his job with the national team," Zhang said. "He communicates with the players as well as he ever did. They all trust him."

After quitting the Xinjiang job, Donewald traveled to Spain and France to scout potential opponents from Europe - despite the fact the draw for the pool stage won't be released until next Tuesday.

According to Hu, Donewald has adjusted his regular training regime to accommodate a roster that combines veterans and youngsters.

"Players will be divided into different groups by age and position. That will help them to get in shape quickly," said Zhang.

According to Donewald, the 22-strong squad will be reduced to 17 after three tune-up games against an American team in late May and the final 12-member roster will be announced in July.

 

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