Harendra Singh Appointed India's Women Hockey Coach

India hockey team

A file image of the Indian hockey

The Sports Minister made the announcement on his Twitter account.

Holland's Sjoerd Marijne, who is now serving as the coach of Indian women's hockey team, has been appointed as the head coach of the men's hockey team.

In a seemingly surprising move, current Indian women's hockey coach Sjoerd Marijne was on Friday named chief coach of the men's side.

Marijne replaced Roelant Oltmans, who was sacked after a few ordinary performances in the past few months.

Marijne's appointed as the coach of the women's team in February 2017 has helped him understand the functioning of HI as well.

"Pleased to announce appt of Sh Harendra Singh, Dronacharya Award victor, as High Performance Specialist Coach fr Indian Snr Women Hockey Team", the Minister added. Harendra Singh - the coach of the World Cup-winning junior team and the frontrunner for the position - was put in charge of the national women's team. This man (Marijne) has never coached a senior men's team.

The decision was taken at the Joint Committee Meeting of SAI and Hockey India (HI) held in SAI, on Thursday, on the basis of recent and past performance of Harendra Singh. To make results a reality, we need to make hard decisions for the greater good of the future of Hockey in India.

He is a Level III certified Coach.

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Marijne had initially expressed his reluctance to the job on offer and went as far as saying that "he has nothing to do with what's going on men's hockey" when contacted by Zee Media on Wednesday.

However, a top official said HI withdrew the advertisement on Thursday. Marijne was one of three coaches in contention for the role.

Harendra Singh is expected to take over the new responsibility shortly.

But he agreed after HI and SAI convinced him.

Oltmans came to India four years ago as a high performance director before assuming the role of coach in 2015 following Paul van Ass' removal. "When we have someone like Harendra who knows the team better than any other coach, why are we falling back on foreign options?"

The deadline for submission of applications was September 15 and the tenure was to run till the end of 2020, encapsulating the Tokyo Olympics as well.

Marijne had led Netherlands' U-21 women's side to a World Cup title and that country's senior women's team to a gold at the Hockey World League Semi-Finals in 2015.

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