Netherlands’ Sjoerd Marijne, was appointed as the head coach of the Indian men’s hockey team on Friday. The decision was announced by Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore on Twitter.
Last week, Hockey India parted ways with another Dutchman, Roelant Oltamans, bringing an end to a two-year regime that mostly reaped success on the field.
Marijne was appointed as the head coach of the women’s hockey team in February, and penned a four-year contract. The 43-year-old, who was a former Dutch player, has an impressive resume, leading the Netherlands U-21 women’s side to a World Cup win as well. He also steered the Dutch senior women’s side to a gold medal at the Hockey World League semifinals in 2015.
Junior World Cup-winning coach Harendra Singh, who was considered the front-runner for the post, was appointed as the chief coach of the women’s team. He’ll be taking over from Marijne.
Earlier, Singh had expressed interest in taking over as the men’s team coach from Otlmans.
HI, after sacking Oltmans, had appointed high performance director David John as the interim coach. They also advertised for the post, asking aspirants to send in their applications to the Federation’s CEO by September 15.
However, a HI official was quoted as saying by PTI that the board withdrew the advertisement on Thursday. “The advertisement has been withdrawn as both HI and the Sports Authority of India felt Marijne is the best candidate for the job having spent more than six months in the country,” the official said. It is also learnt that Marijne was initially reluctant to take up the role. He has never worked with a national men’s team before and agreed after HI and SAI convinced him.
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