Sacked Hockey Coach Roelant Oltmans Criticises Indian Impatience

Roelant Oltmans was fired as the coach of the Indian hockey team for showing short-term results.


The bad run of foreign coaches in Indian hockey team continued with Roelant Oltmans, when the Dutchman was sacked as the chief coach. The decision was made following a three-day review meeting chaired by high-performance director David John on September 01. John, who is primarily a fitness coach, has been given charge until a new coach is found.

The poor performance of the national team in the World League decided the fate of Roelant, Hockey India officials have been reported as saying.

Oltmans Defends Himself

After getting the termination email from Hockey India, Oltmans gave an exclusive interview to the New Indian Express, criticising the way things prevail in the sport in the country.

“I can only say that at least from the area where I come from, not too many people will be keen,” he said. “Of course, there are people like me who think you can change the system. But one thing is sure, you cannot change the system. If you’re coming to India as the foreign coach, there is one thing for sure — before you finish your contract, you will be fired. Look at Jose Brasa, Terry Walsh, and Paul van Ass.”

Oltmans also defended himself against the charge made by the officials that he is not a result-oriented coach. He cited several examples of the team’s growth in the last couple of years, pointing out the first ever silver medal won by the team at the Asian Champions trophy, and that the team has risen from 13th to the 6th spot in rankings.

The 63-year-old coach, under whom the Dutch men’s team won the gold medal at the Atlanta Olympics and the Dutch women’s team bagged the world title in 1990, added that his experience should act as an eye opener for both Hockey India and the foreign coaches who wish to work in India. He added that any foreign coach who works in India will feel the same heat and pressure.

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