Former India captain Viren Rasquinha, on Monday, slammed the move to give coach Roelant Oltmans the boot. He stated that Hockey India’s decision, which was made on Saturday following a three-day meeting, lacked forethought.
Rasquinha opined that the Dutchman should have been allowed to run down his contract, and spoke highly of the latter’s CV, which includes World Cup and Olympic gold medals, “The move defies logic. When he was offered a contract extension until 2020 Tokyo Games, he should have been given the opportunity to honour his contract.
We are talking about Roelant Otlmans – he has enjoyed a lot of success around the world and has an impeccable track record as coach. Also, I feel the move to sack Oltmans is done without any vision,” Rasquinha was quoted as saying by Times of India.
Consistency key to success
Over the past year, Indian hockey was peppered with some great highs and crushing lows.
The Hockey World League Semifinals in June provided a deeper explanation to India’s shortcomings. Despite 14 goals in the first three games, the team cut a cropper against Malaysia and were dumped out of the tournament. Oltmans’ side then went on to be humbled by Canada, finishing a lowly sixth.
Rasquinha viewed this worrying trend as something that’s impeding the team’s growth. He said: “Actually, consistency is one big factor. They will dish out an extraordinary brand of hockey one day and then they will lose to sides like Canada or Malaysia the other.
To be successful, one has to maintain the same intensity day in and day out. Once we do that, we will be a force to reckon with in world hockey.”
The 36-year-old also cautioned that it would take time for the younger crop of Indians – drafted in from the victorious junior World Cup team of 2016 – to find their feat, “I remember when I broke into the senior fold after winning the junior World Cup, we also struggled to settle down to the rigours of international hockey.
It takes time and these youngsters are no different. But then, you can’t stop grooming youngsters, isn’t it? You have to look ahead,” Rasquinha said.
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