New Delhi, Feb 28: Hockey India (HI) has hired the services of Dutchmen Sjoerd Marijne and Eric Wonink as the chief coach and analytical coach for the national womens team till the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, it was announced on Tuesday.

“I am very excited to take on this new assignment. From what I have followed about the Indian women’s team, it is a very talented and hard working group of women and I believe they have got great potential to establish themselves as a strong team in world hockey,” stated Marijne.

Under previous coach Neil Hawgood, India qualified to the Olympics after a gap of 36 years but couldn’t play impressive hockey at Rio, finishing last (12th). They failed to win anyhting in the round-robin stage. Also read:  Hockey needs support from state governments too: Batra 

Now the task will be for Marijne will be to take the team to the next level and to make them a competitive side.

Marijne, who previously served as the chief coach of the all-conquering Dutch women’s team which was bested by Britain in the 2016 Olympic final, has joined the national camp that is underway at the Sports Authority of India campus in Bhopal.

Marijne, who has played for The Netherlands, also coached the Dutch Under-21 women’s side to the World Cup title as well as the senior side to the gold medal at the Hockey World League (HWL) Semi Finals in 2015. Also read: Abhijit Sarkar appointed Asian hockey body’s Vice Chairman

Between 2011-2014, he was the head coach for the Netherlands Under-21 men’s team.

Wonink, meanwhile, has worked as a Trainer at the Talentcentre for Hockey Topsport Brabant RTC Den Bosch club. The Talentcentre is founded to help players make it to the Olympics in 2024.

In his stint with HC Den Bosch, as Assistant Trainer/Coach 1st ladies team between 2012-2014, the team finished second twice in the European Championship.

“We are happy to bring on board Sjoerd Marijne and Eric Wonink who will be working with the senior women’s team in this new Olympic cycle. The women’s team has made good progress over the past few years by qualifying for the 2016 Rio Olympics and winning the 2016 Women’s Asian Champions Trophy.

“The team has great potential and talent to register better results in the following years and we believe Sjoerd and Eric will help the team achieve newer heights. I wish them all the very best in this pursuit,” stated HI General Secretary Md. Mushtaque Ahmad.