Women’s hockey coach now in charge of men’s team

RSTV Bureau
File photo of Sjoerd Marijne

File photo of Sjoerd Marijne

Women’s national hockey coach Sjoerd Marijne has been been named as the chief coach of the Indian men’s team.

Marijne replaced Roelant Oltmans, who was sacked after a few ordinary performances in the past few months.

The decision was announced by the newly-appointed Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore.

Rathore also appointed World Cup-winning junior team coach Harendra Singh as the High Performance Specialist coach of the senior women’s team.

According to a top Hockey India official, both Marijne and Harendra have been given a tenure till the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The sports ministry issued a release stating that the decisions were taken after a joint meeting between the Sports Authority of India and Hockey India.

“The Joint Committee Meeting of SAI and HI held at SAI, here on 7th September 2017 appointed Shri Harendra Singh, Dronacharya Awardee, Hockey Coach as High Performance Specialist Coach for Indian Senior Women Hockey Team.

The ministry stated that Marijne has accepted the new role. The 43-year-old Dutchman, who was appointed as the Indian women’s coach in February earlier this year, has never worked with a national men’s team before.

The position for men’s coach had fallen vacant after Oltmans was sacked last Saturday following a string of poor performances in the recent past.

Oltmans came to India fours years ago as a High Performance Director before assuming the role of coach in 2015 following Paul van Ass’ removal.

Three important tournaments — the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games and the men’s World Cup – are lined up in 16 months time.

Marijne’s first assignment with the senior men’s team will be next month’s Asia Cup in Dhaka.

Marijne, who has played for The Netherlands, guided the Dutch Under-21 women’s side to a World Cup title and the Dutch senior women’s side to a gold at the Hockey World League Semi-Finals in 2015.

Between 2011-2014, Marijne was the national head coach for The Netherlands Under-21 men, apart from a short stint with Liaoning Men China.

(With inputs from PTI)