Exit one Dutchman, enter another. The Indian men’s hockey team has a new head coach and it’s another man from the Netherlands. On Friday, the country’s newly-appointed Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore announced that Sjoerd Marijne, who served as the women team’s head coach since February 2017, would take Oltmans’s position.
But a common nationality is probably the only way Oltmans and Marijne are connected. Apart from the fact that they’re both Dutch, there’s a sea of difference in their careers.
Marijne is a former hockey player who played for one of Netherlands’ leading clubs, HC Den Bosch in the late 1990s. With the club, Marijne was national champion twice (in 1998 and 2001) and also won the EuroHockey Club Champions Cup in 1999.
Under the 43-year-old, the women’s team has had a middling run in 2017. They qualified for the Hockey World League Semi-Final with a good performance in Round 2 in April but then finished eighth in the Semi-Final in July.
Before he came to India, the Dutchman had a successful tenure with the Netherlands’ women’s team. He guided them to a gold at the Hockey World League Semi-Final in 2015 in Antwerp. Netherlands also won bronze in the Champions Trophy in 2014 and silver in the EuroHockey Nations Championship in 2015 after which Marijne left due to “a difference in understanding” with the Dutch hockey association.
From 2011 to 2014, Marijne coached the Dutch junior hockey team whom he guided to a third-place finish at the 2013 Junior World Cup. He also had a stint with Liaoning Men in China, according to PTI.
The Dutchman built his chops in coaching through the early 2000s, guiding various clubs in the country. He started his coaching career with TMHC Tilburg in 2001 and then moved to Amsterdam H & BC in 2004 where he took the team to the final in the national championship twice. Marijne also had stints with his former playing club HC Den Bosch.
But despite this long list of coaching stints, one aspect that glaringly sticks out is Marijne’s lack of exposure with a senior men’s national team, compared to Oltmans who enjoyed tremendous success with the Dutch men’s national team. Let’s hope Marijne’s inexperience won’t come back to bite him.
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