Harendra Singh, Sjoerd Marijne's fates hinge on Indian hockey teams' results at Asian Games, World Cup
In a rather bizarre turn of events, last week, Hockey India (HI) announced that women's team coach Harendra Singh would take over the men's team while Sjoerd Marijne, the men's coach, would go back to coaching the women's team.
This coach swap came after the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast where both the men's and women's team finished fourth. However, it was the lacklustre performance by the men's team, in which they were stretched by even minnows Wales, that hurt HI.
Now, both Harendra and Marijne have contracts running up to 2020 and reports suggested that they would keep their jobs until at least the Tokyo Olympics, regardless of the results. However, it has been learnt, that their jobs, especially Harendra's, are not safe.
If sources are to be believed, failure to win a medal at the Asian Games and a poor performance at the World Cup may put the Indian coach's job on the line. Even Marijne's job is not secure and only results will dictate the future.
It has also been learnt, though, that the women's team is quite happy with Marijne back in the fold of things. The Dutchman is back at the helm of the women's team after eight months and the girls are looking forward to working with him again.
However, ahead of the Women's Asian Champions Trophy, Marijne has not joined the camp yet. He will join the team directly in Korea while in the meanwhile, analytical coach Eric Wonink is preparing the girls.
The upcoming few months will be extremely crucial for both Harendra and Marijne to prove their mettle as head coaches of their respective teams. And with some big tournaments coming up, only results can guarantee whether or not they will still be here at the end of the year. Otherwise, we could well see HI's much-criticised 'hire-and-fire' policy back in play.