The India hockey players will have Roelant Oltmans giving them advice on how to tackle each opponent for four more years with the coach set to have his contract extended until 2020. Oltmans has clearly made this India hockey team into a much better unit since taking over and will now hope to turn them into world beaters.
On the back of winning the Asian Champions Trophy title, Oltmans will now be kept on as the India hockey coach for a further three years, until the next Olympics, which will be held in Tokyo. His current deal, where he is also the high performance director, was set to expire in January, 2017. It is believed Oltmans will only be the coach in his new contract.
"Yes, I got to know that my contract has been renewed," Oltmans told PTI. "I got to know it from HI (Hockey India). There are minute changes in my terms and conditions but I am yet to get an official confirmation
"It takes about six to eight years before we'll be a consistent medal contender on a global level," Oltmans added to ANI. "This is an opportunity to make that happen." Oltmans' new deal now only needs to be ratified by the sports ministry, with HI and SAI forwarding the new terms.
Earlier, the current captain PR Sreejesh, who has thrived under Oltmans, turning into one of the best goalkeepers in the world, explained just what makes the Dutchman such a great coach and such a big success for the India hockey team.
"The biggest quality about Roelant is his understanding," Sreejesh told TOI. "He understands the game really well and makes changes according to situations. He understands the players really well and tries to get the best out of them."
Sreejesh also thinks the fact that Oltmans can identify the talent in a player and then keep the faith in him to make sure he gets the best out of him in international hockey is also a great quality.
"Moreover, in the last few years, he has been able to develop a core group of players," Sreejesh added. "His faith and perseverance in them are paying off."
Former hockey star Viren Rasquinha, a man who is not shy about giving his opinion, also believes keeping Oltmans for the long-term is what India need at the moment.
"Hockey coach Roelant Oltmans knows the Indian system well," Rasquinha told NDTV. "We should retain him."