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India Should Play Traditional Hockey Say Coach

Roelant Oltmans, the Indian hockey team’s Dutch coach, says that, although the hockey team has improved under its previous chief coach Michael Nobbs, who hails from Australia, it requires “fresh ideas” to reach a new level. He suggested that the Indian hockey team should start playing hockey the traditional Indian way.

In an interview with DNA, he said that Hockey India must now hire a new coach, who will implement completely new ideas and new coaching methodologies that will help the team to earn a place at the international level.

Stating that the Indian team has improved a lot during Nobb’s tenure, he said that several hockey players have made great progress and the team finishing fourth during the previous Champions Trophy is ample proof of this fact.

Disagreeing with Nobb’s suggestion that India should implement a mixture of Austrian and European styles of playing hockey, he said that Indians should play hockey the Indian way, adding that he sees nothing wrong in the country’s traditional style of hockey. Indians should also play plenty of international matches against the world’s best teams besides implementing new methods to enhance endurance and agility, he said.

When asked if the present hockey players will play in Olympics 2016, he said that a lot of work remains to be done on the team. Stating that several young players are now in the senior team, he said that the Junior World Cup, scheduled to be held at the end of 2013, will bring to light top players, who can then be taken into the senior team. Meanwhile, India will focus on developing its junior hockey players too.

The coach is of the opinion that the Indian hockey team cannot achieve success overnight, but can become one of the top teams in the world in the next 4 – 8 years.