Roelant Oltmans said that he has no regrets from his time as India coach. The Dutchman was sacked on Saturday following a meeting to assess India’s performances in 2016 and 2017. Although India were poor in the World Hockey league, Oltmans has largely enjoyed a successful time. “I have no regrets because I know I have left certain legacy for India hockey in the last four-and-a-half-years. The team has made significant progress and I just hope the process which I had set continues in the future,” Oltmans is quoted as saying by PTI.
He is the sixth Indian coach to be sacked in the last 10 years. Oltmans said that those taking the job from the outside are well aware of the challenges that come with it and he was no different. “We all (foreigners) know India is not the easiest of countries to work – especially in the sporting sector because of a host of issues. But in my mind, I was always prepared. When I took up the offer, I knew someday I will be sacked but I was ready for that,” he said.
“My plans from day one was to set long-term goals for India hockey to put the house in order and achieve a level a consistency. I had always said that India need 6 years to to be in the top 3,” he said, “But it seems it’s different in India. People want overnight results. But it takes to build a process after a slump. In India it’s all about winning a tournament, everyone thinks from the point of view of a fan. It takes time.”
Oltmans said that he rarely ever had any disagreement with the authorities in India. “I had a great time and enjoyed here,” he said. The Dutchman, however, was taken aback with the sudden decision of Hockey India and said it was not in the best interest of the country.
“I don’t think it was the right moment to take this decision. We had always set our target for 2017 Asia Cup and winning the Hockey World League Finals.”
Oltmans said that he has set in a a system for the Indian men’s team to propel in future.
“We had prepared the team for the future. I am 100 per cent confident we will win the Asia Cup and I absolutely feel we can finish on the podium in the HWL Finals, Commonwealth Games and Asian Games provided we have the systems in place,” he said, “But you never know because a new coach will come and he will have his own style of play. But I feel the team is heading in the right direction,” he signed off.