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Roelant Oltmans sacked as head coach of Indian hockey team

The 63-year old Oltmans became the head coach of India men's hockey team after Paul Van Ass left controversially in 2015.

Reported by: Aditya Chauhan , New Delhi [ Updated: September 02, 2017 19:36 IST ]
Image Source : GETTY IMAGES A file image of Roelant Oltmans

Hockey India on Saturday sacked Roelant Oltmans as chief coach of India men's Hockey team's after their poor performance in the Hockey World League semi-finals and on the Europe tour. High-performance director, David John will replace Oltmans as the interim coach. The decision was taken during the three-day meeting of the Hockey India High Performance and Development Committee, which concluded on Saturday. 

Oltmans was initially appointed as the high-performance manager for Indian Hockey team in 2013. He was later promoted to the post of head coach after Paul Van Ass left controversially in 2015.

Though the federation did not say it in as many words, it is apparent that the HI bosses are not impressed with the Dutchman. 

"Key decisions taken included Chief Coach Roelant Oltmans to step down," Hockey India said in a release.

"While Roelant Oltmans role as Chief Coach in improving the teams' overall fitness and cohesiveness has been appreciated, the results are what matter and the performance of the team has not been consistent or up to the desired levels." 

The power-packed meeting to assess the way forward for Indian hockey was attended by over 24 members over the last three days. 

Harbinder Singh, chairman of the Hockey India Selection Committee said, "The Committee was convened since we are collectively not satisfied with the Indian Men's Hockey team's performance in 2016 and 2017 and feels that wins in Asia can't be a benchmark for success anymore. 

"We need to show results beyond intent in key international tournaments where the sporadic success over the last two years is more incidental than deliberate. To make results a reality, we need to make hard decisions for the greater good of the future of Hockey in India. 

"The current format of coaching was not showing results beyond a certain level. The Committee unanimously agreed that immediate action was required to be taken and while change may not always be comfortable it is essential if we want to position ourselves as a serious global contender for the upcoming critical tournaments in 2018 including the Asian Games & World Cup and 2020 Olympic Games.


India will be hosting the final of the FIH Hockey World League in December this year in Odisha. India will also host the Hockey World Cup in 2018.

(With PTI Inputs)

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