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Oltmans set to stay until Rio Olympics

India has been without a chief coach after Australia's Michael Nobbs resigned citing health issues in July.

Written by Mihir Vasavda | Mumbai |
September 18, 2013 2:33:31 am

Hockey India has proposed that Roelant Oltmans be appointed the national team coach on a permanent basis,it was learnt on Tuesday. The Sports Authority of India (SAI),who are responsible for appointing coaches,is believed to have approved Hockey India’s proposal but are awaiting a final confirmation from the government.

India has been without a chief coach after Australia’s Michael Nobbs resigned citing health issues in July.

Hockey India recommended Oltmans’ name to SAI on Tuesday,saying that the Dutchman was a perfect candidate for the job and cited the team’s performance at the Asia Cup as an example. A final clearance from the government is awaited before the appointment is made official.

It is learnt that Hockey India had received applications from former India coach Jose Brasa as well,but his frosty relationship with them as well as SAI meant he wasn’t considered for the job. Oltmans was named the interim coach of the side for the Asia Cup last month after Hockey India unceremoniously parted ways with Nobbs.

Interestingly,Nobbs was chosen ahead of Oltmans as the chief coach of the national team in 2011. Oltmans was appointed as the high performance director earlier this year and he was entrusted with the responsibility to strengthen the grass-roots. There is no clarity at the moment whether Hockey India will look for another high performance director in place of Oltmans.

The Dutchman,who has won every title on offer with the Dutch national team and achieved reasonable success as Pakistan’s coach,will be in charge of the team till Rio Olympics in 2016 and his performance will be reviewed annually by SAI and Hockey India. MK Kaushik will continue to remain Oltmans’ deputy till Rio Games.

“Together,they form a very strong coaching pair and hopefully,they will be able to make the national team strong. They barely got a month with the national team before the Asia Cup and though the team did not win the tournament,the team’s performance there was better than what most expected,especially because a few senior players were injured,” the source said.

Hockey India and SAI received positive feedback from the players as well as the coaching staff about Oltmans.

Hockey India secretary general Narinder Batra refused to divulge information but said the ‘new coach of the national team will be named in one week or 10 days at the most.’

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