Roelant Oltmans has been sacked as the head coach of the Indian men’s hockey team following a three-day meeting of the Hockey India High Performance and Development Committee.
While Oltmans’ role as chief coach in improving the team’s 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.
Harbinder Singh, Chairman of the Hockey India Selection Committee, said that the decision has been taken keeping in mind the important tournaments in next two years. Singh emphasised that success in Asian tournaments can no longer be a benchmark for performance and results in international tournaments should be the focus going forward. He added that 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,” he said.
As a result, High Performance Director David John will take charge as interim coach till a suitable replacement is found for a smooth transition of the Indian Men’s team.
The power packed meeting was attended by over twenty-four members over the three days including Harbinder Singh, B.P Govinda, V. Baskaran, Thoiba Singh, Dr. A.B. Subbaiah, Dr. R.P Singh, Joydeep Kaur, Sardar Singh, P.R Sreejesh, Manpreet Singh, Roelant Oltmans, Jugraj Singh, Arjun Halappa, Hans Streeder, Scott Conway, David John, Elena Norman, Mariamma Koshy, Md. Mushtaque Ahmad Rajinder Singh, Tapan Das, Bhola Nath Singh, Firoz Ansari and Gyanendro Ningombam. Inputs were incorporated from all Committee members to emerge with focus areas and the way forward for the Indian Men’s Team.
The objective of the meeting was to not only assess the recent performance of the Men’s national team at the World League Semi Final tournament as well as the European Tour, but to also take concrete steps towards a winning performance in critical upcoming tournaments including the Asian Games, Commonwealth Games and the World Cup coming up in 2018 and the 2020 Olympic Games.