Hockey India has renewed men’s team coach Roelant Oltmans’ contract till 2020. Oltmans had recently led the Indian side to victory in the Asian Champions Trophy finals in which they beat arch rivals Pakistan. Oltmans said that this a perfect opportunity to make India a regular contendor for medals at the global stage.
“It takes about 6-8 yrs before we’ll be a consistent medal contender on global level,” Oltmans told ANI, “This is an opportunity to make that happen.”
Oltmans’ earlier contract was set to expire in 2017. Earlier Hockey India had stated that they wanted Oltmans to continue in his role as the coach until the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. HI President Narinder Batra had said that the recommendation had been forwarded to the Sports Authority of India. Batra had further stated that Oltmans would be asked to concentrate solely on his role as the head coach and a replacement would be found for the post of high performance director.
“We want to carry on with him. Till now, we have taken a call only on one person (in the coaching staff). In our discussion, Roelant has agreed,” Batra had said. “Roelant will be the chief coach of men’s programme. We want separate men in charge of the women’s programme and high performance.”
Oltmans has overseen an upward curve in India’s fortunes. Under him, the men’s team has won the bronze at the World League in December 2015, and silver at the Champions Trophy in June. India could manage only an eighth palce finish in the Rio Olympics but the overall progress of the team has earned Oltmans a contract extension.