New Delhi: Former India coach Roelant Oltmans was appointed as the new chief coach of the Pakistan men's hockey team for a two-and-a-half-year tenure, the Dutchman announced himself. Oltmans, who was in charge of Indian hockey for four years -- first as High Performance Director and later as chief coach since 2015 before his unceremonious sacking last September -- took to his official twitter handle to confirm the appointment.
The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF), however, is yet to officially speak on it. "Today I can confirm an Agreement with PHF for a role as Chief Coach for the next 2.1/2 Years," Oltmans wrote on his twitter page.
Today I can confirm an Agreement with PHF for a role as Chief Coach for the next 21/2 Years.
— Roelant Oltmans (@OltmansOltmans) March 7, 2018
It would be Oltmans' second stint with Pakistan hockey after he coached the team in 2003-2004 till the Athens Olympics, in which Pakistan finished fifth. Oltmans was initially appointed High-Performance Director by Hockey India in 2013 but took over as head coach after the ouster of another Dutchman, Paul Van Ass, in controversial circumstances in 2015.
Oltmans' tenure as India head coach ended last September. The appointment is considered as a crucial step in reviving Pakistan hockey after the erstwhile giants of the game failed to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Once confirmed, Oltmans will have to get down to business straightaway as Pakistan are scheduled to feature in the Commonwealth Games, Champions Trophy, Asian Games besides the World Cup later this year.