Hockey legend Roelant Oltmans of the Netherlands takes little time to clear the misconception that big names can change India's profile overnight.
The former Dutch coach, currently working with the Dutch Olympic Committee as its performance manager for elite sports, has been appointed by Hockey India (HI) as its high performance manager.
The Dutch expert, who is also an international hockey federation master coach, spoke to HT from Jalandhar, about his plans. Excerpts:
What are your focus areas?
Each country has its strengths. Hence, the emphasis will be on India’s strengths. At the same time, the weak areas will not be overlooked. Apart from the national teams (men and women), I will also oversee the under-21 team.
When do you plan to start working with HI. What’s the duration of your contract?
Not immediately, as I am currently busy with the Hockey India League (with the Uttar Pradesh franchise). After that I will be involved with the world hockey league. It will take at least three-four months for me to work with HI. My contract is for four years.
How long will it take India to perform consistently at the global level?
There is no magic potion for immediate success. If all goes according to plan, it will take between four-eight years for India to be consistent at the world level. It takes a minimum of four years to adapt to a new system.
Any plans to focus on grassroots programme?
All leading nations have a system in place to feed the national teams. I am not aware of a grassroots system in India. I will take stock of the situation and try and work on the opportunities to give proper direction to the game.