Famous coach Roelant Oltmans of Holland is likely be the new coach of Pakistan hockey team. He agrees to take up the job, his first assignment will be Commonwealth Games in April and he will continue till the World Cup in December.

Informed sources said that Oltmans is in Oman where Pakistan are playing in a three-nation tournament along with hosts Oman and Japan. The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) secretary Shahbaz Ahmed were also there. Oltmans visited Oman to discuss the details of the coaching assignment with PHF secretary, the sources added.

He also saw Pakistan’s matches, sources said. Sources said that Oltmans wanted a couple of days before a final decision. Pakistan have been struggling and need a comprehensive planning for four big international events this year.

Pakistan barely managed a draw against minnows Oman a couple of days ago, which exposed the poor form of its defenders and goalkeepers. They conceded as many as four goals in just fifteen minutes after taking a lead of three goals.

Informed sources said that due to the importance of the coming international events and having tested several local coaches, PHF wanted a foreign coach who can train the players according to the modern day’s requirements. Pakistan team currently occupies the lowly 13th spot.

The hockey greats who visited Pakistan recently in connection with the World XI tour and Hall of Fame ceremony also suggested to PHF to hire the services of a foreign coach who knows the modern-day hockey requirements.

Sources said that the training camp for Commonwealth Games would be held under the supervision of Oltmans. This year, the Green-shirts are to participate in Commonwealth Games, Champions Trophy, Asian Champions Trophy, Asian Games, and the World Cup in December in India.

The PHF wants to take the benefit of these events to improve the performance of Pakistan team, keeping in mind particularly the direct qualification for 2020 Olympics through Asian Games.

Syed Intikhab Ali (THE NEWS)

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