After the controversial sacking of coach Roelant Oltmans earlier this month, Hockey India has finally announced its intention to replace the Dutchman with yet another controversial choice. It was announced earlier today that the coach of women’s national hockey team, Waltherus Marijne, would now be taking charge of the men’s team.
In an announcement that has been met with mixed reactions from various avenues, the one response that has remained constant relates to Marijne’s prior coaching records. The Dutchman, very surprisingly, has no prior experience coaching or handling a senior men’s side at all. The decision is even more surprising in the light of Oltmans’ sacking and the reasons which were given for the same.
A few ordinary performances from the senior men’s side was enough to convince the country’s top administrative Hockey body to let him go. However, they seem to have shown absolutely no qualms when it came to hiring someone who is a complete novice when it comes to senior men’s hockey. The World Cup winning junior team coach Harendra Singh was appointed as the team’s High Performance Specialist coach. Marijne is set to officially start his new job from September 20 while Harendra will begin tomorrow itself.
As per top officials in the Hockey administrative body, both Harendra and Marijne have been handed contracts till Tokyo 2020. However, keeping in mind Hockey India’s notorious record of hiring and letting go of foreign coaches, official contracts seem to mean as little as possible. In fact, Marijne’s predecessor Oltmans too had a long lasting contract which was prematurely terminated based on non-performative grounds.
The decision to appoint Marijne was announced by newly appointed Minister of Sports Sri Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore via his official Twitter handle.
Current Chief Coach of Indian Senior Women Hockey Team, Mr. Waltherus Marijne,will take over as Chief Coach of Indian Senior Men Hockey Team
— Rajyavardhan Rathore (@Ra_THORe) September 8, 2017
The decision also comes after Hockey India went through the process of advertising for a coach in the most elaborate way possible. One can only assume that the advertisement was meant to attract expertise. However, in light of the current appointment, it is safe to conclude that experience and expertise seemed to hold very little value for Hockey India.
One can only hope Coach Waltherus Marijne lasts longer than his predecessors.