Hockey India to take decision on coach Sjoerd Marijne's future, Harendra Singh emerges as likely replacement
Two weeks after the disappointing performance of the men's hockey team in Gold Coast, coach Sjoerd Marijne appears to be at the receiving end. While all the players reassembled for a camp in Bangalore, with a new captain -- PR Sreejesh -- in place, Marijne is still in the Netherlands. Apparently, although he was scheduled to return in time for the camp, his arrival has been delayed due to visa issues.
However, if sources are to be believed, a decision on Marijne's future with the team will be taken in meeting in New Delhi, later today. Furthermore, Sportskeeda has learnt that an announcement on his future is imminent over the next one or two days. While the Dutchman's position is under the scanner, the name of women's team coach, Harendra Singh, is doing the rounds as the likely contender to take over the role. When approached by Sportskeeda though, Marijne refused to comment.
The Indian men's hockey team, who were expected to return with a medal, failed to impress at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. They struggled in every match and were stretched even by minnows Wales. The Manpreet Singh-led side did manage to make it to the bronze medal match but they returned empty-handed, losing out to England. The last time India failed to bag a medal in men's hockey was back in 2006.
Earlier this week, top Hockey India officials met with several senior players and sought their views on the team’s performance in Gold Coast. It is learnt that some of the players are not entirely happy with Marijne's philosophy, and they want Harendra to take over. Even when former coach Roelant Oltmans was sacked, the players had wanted the Indian coach to take over.
If Harendra, who has exceeded expectations with the women’s team, indeed takes over, he will be the first Indian in charge of the men's team since Joaquim Carvalho in 2008. Having said that, everyone is tight-lipped about the on the development, and there are, only but a few whispers.