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India hockey coach Roelant Oltmans to remain in charge till 2020 Tokyo Olympics

01 Nov 2016, 22:45 IST
Team India had a successful period under Roelant Oltmans
Team India had a successful period under Roelant Oltmans

Close on the heels of India’s memorable win over Pakistan en route to winning their second Asian Champions Trophy title, here comes another piece of good news that is sure to delight the countless hockey fans in the country. The contract of the chief Indian men’s hockey coach, Roelant Oltmans is set to be extended by the Sports Authority of India (SAI) and he will now helm the team till the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The Dutchman’s contract was originally supposed to expire in January next year. But a recent string of good results under his tutelage established the faith in his abilities and made the Hockey India (HI) request the SAI to ensure the prolongation of his stay. The latter had no objection to it thanks to Team India’s recent revival.

“Yes, we got a request from Hockey India asking about the renewal of Oltmans’ contract till 2020 Tokyo Olympics,” a SAI source revealed to PTI. “Looking at the team’s progress and his performance, the Sports Authority of India doesn’t have any problems. So, we have forwarded the file to the Ministry. So you can say it's in progress,” the source explained.

“He has done a great job with the team and he deserves it. Regarding his terms and conditions, there are minute changes which I won’t like to get into,” he added.

John expected to become the new high-performance director

There would also be another notable change. It has been learned that Oltmans’ job from now on would be to act as the chief coach of the team only. He would no longer remain as the high-performance director for which his tenure began in January, 2013. Since August last year, the 62-year-old had been performing the dual duty following the ouster of Paul Van Ass.

The Tribune has reported that David Ian John, a highly experienced exercise physiologist from Australia is tipped to be the candidate to replace Oltmans as the high-performance director. John previously had an 18-month stint with the Indian team right before the 2012 London Olympics. His work was very impressive during that period where he managed to improve the team’s fitness. 

It was because of that fruitful stint that Oltmans himself had suggested John to be the best possible substitute. 

John is expected to get $15,000 per month, the same salary as Oltmans would be drawing and his job would entail looking after the development of both the senior and the junior teams.

The Indian men’s team witnessed quite a successful period under the veteran Dutch coach of late. Besides the aforementioned Asian Champions Trophy gold, India also secured a couple of silver medals at the Champions Trophy and at the Azlan Shah Cup as well as a bronze at the World League Final.

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