Non-existent club culture behind India’s early exit from Hockey WC: Oltmans


Former India males’s hockey head coach Roelant Oltmans has blamed the dearth of tactical consciousness and a non-existent club culture for India’s early exit within the ongoing version of the FIH Men’s World Cup.

India misplaced the crossover match to New Zealand and did not make the quarter-finals after taking place 4-5 in sudden dying.

India’s present head coach Graham Reid had additionally voiced concern concerning the lack of club culture after the Hockey India League (HIL) turned defunct in 2017.

“There is no club culture in India, that is for sure. And the players need to continue playing games, that this team is lacking,” Oltmans, who was on the helm of affairs of the Indian group from 2015 to 2017, advised PTI in an interview.

“These Indians are fantastic hockey players, no doubt about that. But you need to know what to do at which moment of the game. If all of a sudden, you are 11 against 10, what are you going to do?” added the Dutchman, who additionally served because the High Performance Director of Indian hockey from 2013 to 2015.

India have been unable to benefit from the circumstances after New Zealand have been diminished to 10 males within the crossover match.

After New Zealand made it 3-3 within the fourth quarter, Nick Ross acquired a yellow card within the 53rd minute and was suspended for 5 minutes. New Zealand defended doggedly to take the match into penalty shootout after which sudden dying.

“India had five minutes before the end of the match when a New Zealand player was out. What were India doing at such a moment? You need to play tactical games, execute them properly,” Oltmans, who was India head coach through the 2016 Rio Olympics, stated.

“The Germans scored two goals in three minutes (against England), that is the difference, that is something India still need to work on.”

Oltmans was stunned that India didn’t have a mental-conditioning coach. The Dutchman stated {that a} psychologist was with the group on the Sports Authority of India (SAI) Centre in Bengaluru when he was on the helm.

“Absolutely, it (having a mental-conditioning coach) makes a distinction. When I used to be the pinnacle coach previous to the (Rio) Olympics, I had a psychologist in my employees. It is kind of the identical as having a mental-conditioning coach.

“For the physical part of the game, we have physical training, for tactical part of the game, we have tactical training, for skill training we have drag-flick trainers. But the mental aspect made a major difference and there we don’t have a serious trainer. That is strange,” stated Oltmans.

He opined that captain Harmanpreet Singh shouldering too many obligations may have affected his efficiency within the World Cup. Harmanpreet struggled to attain along with his drag-flick, which is being blamed for India’s early exit.

“In a team, you always know who your leaders are. Harmanpreet has been on the scene since the 2016 Junior World Cup and now we are talking about 2023. Over the years, he has shown that he is an important player,” Oltmans stated, explaining how Harmanpreet was given the management function.

“He (Harmanpreet) is leading the defence and he is the main penalty-corner taker. We want to give him so much responsibilities at the same time. I am sure he has the qualities to lead the team but having too many responsibilities can affect him, though I know he is a very calm and relaxed player in stressful situations.”

Oltmans, who has additionally coached Pakistan, Malaysia and the Netherlands nationwide groups, stated that India should do extra to search out and groom gifted gamers, a facet which, he stated, the nation was missing as in comparison with nations like Netherlands.

“You have to develop expertise in each side of the sport. Quite a couple of gamers from that junior World Cup-winning Indian facet are on this senior World Cup however (that’s) not sufficient.

“Players like Dipsan Tirkey, Harjeet Singh have been there in that (junior) group. Where have they been; they’re gone out of the system. I do not see them any longer.

“Talent grooming is an important part as you need to prepare the next generation. Of course, not everybody can be included in the national team. But we need to ensure that there is a continuous stream of talent.”

The 68-year-old coach, nonetheless, warned different nations to not low cost India for a 2024 Paris Olympics podium end.

“They (India) were on the podium in Tokyo, why can’t they be there (in Paris)? There is enough talent in this country. Make proper plans, execute them properly, use right people and you will be there.”

He additionally welcomed the nationwide federation’s plan to revive Hockey India League (HIL).

“Absolutely, HIL will be really beneficial for Indian hockey if it comes back. Not only the senior national team players, the juniors will also benefit. In that period when the HIL was there (till 2017), India won the junior World Cup in 2016 (Lucknow).”

Oltmans shouldn’t be too nervous about fewer penalty-corner objectives being scored in the previous few years.

“Normally, PC conversion charge was about one in three and later one in 4, that was alright. But, now, it’s one in 5 or one in six, that’s too low. We want to enhance that once more.

“If you are not scoring penalty-corner goals from your drag-flick, then you should change your mindset and see what can we do to score. We may see more goals in the next major tournament.”

He stated there is no such thing as a hurt in using the outdated technique of taking direct hits from PCs, fairly than going for a drag-flick.

“We have seen that already, England scored from that (PC hit), even South Korea scored. So it can be drag-flick, hitting or variations, according to situation. In the end, there are only five defenders, including the goalkeeper. If you want, you can put 10 attackers. So we can think about how we can score 50 per cent of penalty corners.

(Only the headline and movie of this report might have been reworked by the Business Standard employees; the remainder of the content material is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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