On a day when Hockey India insisted that Roelant Oltmans will continue as the high performance director and won’t be made the permanent coach of the men’s team,it has emerged that former Australia and Holland coach Terry Walsh is the frontrunner for the top job.
There were indications after Tuesday’s meeting between the Sports Authority of India (SAI) and Hockey India that Oltmans,who was the interim coach after Australian Michael Nobbs resigned in July,would be made the permanent coach. However,the sport’s governing body as well as the Dutchman denied such a move,saying he will continue to discharge his duty as the high performance director.
However,it is reliably learnt that Hockey India has identified Nobbs’ compatriot Walsh as his replacement. Walsh was last seen in the role of technical director of USA Hockey. He left the position at the end of last year. Hockey India and SAI are waiting for Oltmans,who is currently in Europe,to return on Tuesday before finalizing the name. The meeting is expected to take place in the middle of next week.
An initial round of discussions between Hockey India and the 59-year-old coach have already taken place,according to an official and Walsh’s name has been suggested to SAI as well.
Around four candidates have shortlisted for the job and among the big names it looks like Walsh is the only one who can be approached at the moment. Most of the top coaches are already employed with the European sides so there wasn’t much to choose from, a Hockey India official said.
A SAI official also confirmed that Hockey India has recommended Walsh’s name as Nobbs’ replacement. They told us that Oltmans will be the high performance director and he will continue to be the chief of coaches and other technical matters. They have suggested the name of Walsh for the position of coach and MK Kaushik will be his assistant. We have accepted their recommendations but it will take a week or so before Walsh’s appointment is made official. There are certain areas that need to be worked on so we can’t say it is 100 percent done it, the SAI official said.
Walsh’s extensive resume includes serving as the head coach of the Netherlands,guiding them to a silver medal at the Athens Olympics in 2004. He also served as head coach for the Australian men’s team from 1997 to 2000,leading the Kookaburras to the bronze medal at Sydney Games.
As a player,Walsh was a three-time Olympian for Australia and won a silver medal in the 1976 Olympics in Montreal and a fourth place finish at the 1984 Games in Los Angeles. He was the technical director of USA Hockey from 2005 to 2012.