Kolkata: Roelant Oltmans, the head coach of the Indian men’s hockey team was asked to step down after a three-day meeting of the Hockey India High Performance and Development Committee on Saturday where many other serious decisions were taken keeping in mind the long-term vision for achieving success at the international stage.
The three-day meeting was attended by 24 members which included 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 where necessary inputs for the future development of the Indian men’s hockey team was kept in focus.
The meeting was held not only to evaluate the performance of the team in the World League semi-final tournament and the European tour but also for chalking out a plan for the future where the men’s team would participate in crucial tournaments like the Asian Games, the Commonwealth Games, the 2018 World Cup and the 2020 Olympics.
One of the key decisions taken was the removal of Oltmans from his job as the head coach, appreciating his role in the fitness and cohesiveness of the team. But when a team plays at the highest level, the desired results are what matters at the end and that hasn’t been achieved by the team so far.
Also, the Director of High Performance and Hockey India Selection Committee would perform a detailed assessment of the probables for the senior team to ensure that those, who have reached their peak should make way for the younger generation to follow.
This comes after the brilliant show by the young side in the recently concluded European tour and it also proves that now is the time for the next generation of players to get a chance to play at the highest level.
David John, the High Performance Director will be the interim coach of the Indian men’s team till an able replacement is found.
Harbinder Singh, the Chairman of 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 any more. 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 agreement 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.”