Hockey India, on Saturday, decided to part ways with head coach Roelant Oltmans after a three-day meeting of the the Hockey India High Performance and Development Committee. High Performance director David John was named interim coach until the board recruit a suitable replacement.
The decision was made at the end of the meeting, which included Oltmans and some of the senior players in the side such as captain PR Sreejesh, Manpreet Singh, and Sardar Singh.
A press release by Hockey India stated that the decision was made on the back of poor performances in the Hockey World League semifinals and the recently concluded European tour.
“While Roelant Oltmans role as Chief Coach in improving the teams’ overall fitness and cohesiveness has been appreciated, the results are what matter and the performance of the team has not been consistent or up to the desired levels,” the release said.
Harbinder Singh, Chairman of the Hockey India selection committee said the decision was taken keeping the important tournaments in the next two years in mind. He 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 any more.
“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 agreement 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 upcoming critical tournaments in 2018 including the Asian Games & World Cup and 2020 Olympic Games.”