no surprise

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 04 Sep 2017 11:53:35

THAT Hockey India (HI) has sacked national coach Roelant Oltmans is neither a shock nor surprise as he kept on promising and planning big but had been falling short in producing results.

The bosses at Hockey India finally gave vent to their frustration over the inability of the legendary Dutchman to produce results which would take Indian hockey to a position of honour, to the top slot of international hockey. That has not happened. The authorities in HI did not seem to be interested in his “long term” process of building national team from among the probables and wanted short term solutions. 

India’s high performance director Mr. David John was right when he said that the national coach failed to produce credible results even though he had at his disposal a core of probables since 2012.

Five-year period is a good enough time to build a team when the probables already are at hand, around which the national team could be built with good enough bench strength. Oltmans’ long term planning, however, fell short of the expectations of the HI authorities. They found no consistency in the performance of the national team at various international tournaments when HI wanted the team to be among the top three in the world. They wanted the team to win major international titles.


HI wants to see a podium finish for the national team at forthcoming major events like the Commonwealth Games and the Olympic Games. For a team which has been languishing at number six, seven and even as low as eighth position in world ranking such a dream is a tall order unless there is a drastic change in the way it trains, is provided facilities and infrastructure and above all the way the national coach puts in his inputs to build a world beating team.

Unfortunately, ever since Oltmans took charge of the team in 2013 as the high performance director and later in 2015 as the national coach not much has changed with the team showing lackluster performances against even lowly placed teams. Hence the frustration of the HI bosses.


With consistent failure of the team at various prestigious meets, it was only a matter of time that the axe would fall on the national coach. In the history of Indian hockey the only consistent factor has been the summary sacking of the national coach. Legendary former foreign players like Australian Ric Chalseworth, German Gerhard Peter Rach, Spaniard Jose Brasa, Australian Michael Nobbs and Terry Walsh were shown the door.

All these gentlemen, who were trail-blazers in their playing days, had to relinquish their position as they failed to make any material change to the fortunes of the Indian team even as the Indian hockey bosses continue their quest for restoring the lost glory. May their quest be fulfilled.