Sacked Hockey coach Roelant Oltmans has disclosed that he was prepared to be sacked any day and stated that working in India has always been difficult for all foreign coaches. The Dutch, who had quite a successful period with team India, feels that the timing was not right to take such a decision.
Australian Ric Charlesworth, Spaniard Jose Brasa, Micheal Nobbs, Terry Walsh, Paul van Ass and now Dutchman Roelant Oltmans, Indian Hockey has not been a smooth path for foreign coaches. Yesterday, Hockey India sacked Roelant Oltmans as the head coach of the Indian hockey team and for now, current high-performance director David John will take over as the interim coach. The decision came at the end of the three-day Hockey India conclave where they decided to took some hard steps. Roelant Oltmans said that he knew this was coming from the very first day.
"I was always prepared to be sacked," said Oltmans.
When asked about preparations for the job of Indian hockey's High-Performance Director in 2013, he said, "We all (foreigners) know India is not the easiest of countries to work - especially in the sporting sector because of a host of issues. But in my mind, I was always prepared. When I took up the offer, I knew someday I will be sacked but I was ready for that."
The Dutchman held that he has no regrets and hoped that the roadmap prepared by him is good enough for the team to follow.
"I have no regrets because I know I have left a certain legacy for India hockey in the last four-and-a-half-years. The team has made significant progress and I just hope the process which I had set continues in the future," said Oltmans.
Oltmans, from the very first day, put emphasis on the setting long-term goals for Indian hockey to revitalize its glorious history.
"But it seems it's different in India. People want overnight results. But it takes to build a process after a slump. In India it's all about winning a tournament, everyone thinks from the point of view of a fan. It takes time. But I never had any disagreement with the authorities here. I had a great time and enjoyed here," Oltmans added.
However, he is not quite content with the sudden decision of Hockey India and said that it was not the best decision possible. He feels that he has inlaid a structure for the Indian men's team so that they will be able to succeed in future.
"I don't think it was the right moment to take this decision. We had always set our target for 2017 Asia Cup and winning the Hockey World League Finals," said the Dutchman.
"We had prepared the team for the future. I am 100 per cent confident we will win the Asia Cup and I absolutely feel we can finish on the podium in the HWL Finals, Commonwealth Games and Asian Games provided we have the systems in place," Oltmans said.
"But you never know because a new coach will come and he will have his own style of play. But I feel the team is heading in the right direction," said Oltmans signing off.