New Delhi: Coach of India’s sernior men’s hockey team, Roelant Oltmans, was on Saturday sacked due to poor performance and results this year. Meanwhile, Hockey India’s (HI) High Performance Director, David John, will take charge as interim coach, until a suitable replacement for Oltmans is found.Also Read - Indian Hockey Team Was Hugely Motivated Before Bronze-Medal Match: Simranjeet Singh
The three-day meeting of the HI High Performance and Development Committee, which was held to assess and take steps towards the way forward and long term success for Indian hockey, concluded on Saturday. During the meeting, some key decisions were made, which included sacking Oltmans. Also Read - Hockey India Can't Unilaterally Pull out of CWG, Must Consult With Government: Anurag Thakur
While Oltmans‘s role as chief coach in improving the teams’ overall fitness and cohesiveness was appreciated, the members of the meeting were not happy with India’s performance under the Dutchman, as, according to them, only results matter, and the performance of the team was not consistent or up to the desired level. Also Read - Hockey: Olympic Champions Belgium 'Disappointed' With FIH as Team India Sweep Annual Awards
The meeting consisted of 24 members and their objective was to not only assess the recent performance of the men’s national team at the Hockey World League Semifinals and the European tour but also to take solid steps towards a winning performance in critical coming tournaments, including the Asian Games, Commonwealth Games and the World Cup in 2018 and the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
The chairman of the Hockey India Selection Committee, Olympian Harbinder Singh, who was also part of the meeting, said, “The Committee was convened since we are collectively not satisfied with the Indian men’s hockey team’s performance in 2016 and 2017 and feels that wins in Asia can’t be a benchmark for success anymore.
‘We need to show results beyond intent in key international tournaments where the sporadic success over the last two years is more incidental than deliberate. To make results a reality, we need to make hard decisions for the greater good of the future of hockey in India.
“The current format of coaching was not showing results beyond a certain level. The Committee unanimously agreed that immediate action was required to be taken and while change may not always be comfortable, it is essential if we want to position ourselves as a serious global contender for the coming tournaments in 2018.”
Meanwhile, the High Performance Director and HI’s selection committee will perform a detailed assessment of all the senior core probables, with those that have reached their peak performance to make way for younger talent.