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Coaching India an interesting option: Oltmans

Source: PTI
June 17, 2011 19:46 IST

Veteran Dutch hockey coach Roelant Oltmans says coaching India as an interesting proposition for him, but with a few riders.

"India is an interesting option. I have always said that it will be interesting to coach the Indian team," Oltmans said from Rome.

"As far as I am concerned, I did not receive any formal offer from India. I don't know how my name is considered as a frontrunner for the job. As long as I do not receive any such offer it will be premature to talk," added the former coach of the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and Utrecht World Cup-winning Netherlands team.

He, however, admitted that accepting any offer to coach the Indian team would depend on "few things".

Roelant Oltmans"My accepting the offer will depend on quite a few things. I will have to talk on many aspects before accepting any offer. As far as my availability is concerned, again, it will depend on many things," said the 57-year-old.

The national team is without a foreign coach since Spaniard Jose Brasa's term ended after the Guangzhou Asian Games last year, where India won bronze.

Harendra Singh, who was Brasa's deputy, was named his successor but a poor sixth placed finish in the Azlan Shah Cup has forced Hockey India and the sports ministry to expedite the process of finding a foreign coach.

The sports ministry is keen on providing the team a foreign expert for a tenure of four or five years this time.

It is learnt that Hockey India appointed a five-member committee, headed by Pargat Singh, and it has shortlisted five names which includes Oltmans.

Impressed with Indian hockey's glorious past, Oltmans termed the eight-time Olympic champions as a "sleeping giant".

"India are a sleeping giant who did not perform to its capabilities in last one decade," said Oltmans, who was the head coach of Pakistan's hockey team in 2003-04.

The head coach of the men's team of Larensche Mixed Hockey Club, Oltmans is happy with his current job.

"Apart from coaching, I am also the performance manager of the National Olympic Committee (elite sports). I am happy with my job in my country," he said.

But Oltmans did not rule out of taking up the India assignment.

"Never say never to anything," he said.

The Indian hockey team is scheduled to play the eight-nation Champions Trophy at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium from December 3-11, followed by the Olympic qualifier from February 15-26 next year.

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