Hockey: I was confident of winning Asian Games and World Cup with men's team, says Sjoerd Marijne

Sjoerd Marijne has accepted Hockey India's decision to send him back to the women's camp, but the Dutchman said he was confident of delivering results with men's side in the Asian Games and World Cup despite a poor Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast.

Hockey: I was confident of winning Asian Games and World Cup with men's team, says Sjoerd Marijne
File photo of Sjoerd Marijne (PTI)

New Delhi: Sjoerd Marijne has accepted Hockey India's decision to send him back to the women's camp, but the Dutchman said he was confident of delivering results with men's side in the Asian Games and World Cup despite a poor Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast.

Women's hockey coach Harendra Singh was on Tuesday made in-charge of the men's side, while men's coach Marijne was re-designated as the women's coach in an inexplicable rejigging of roles by the national federation following India's medal-less finish at the CWG since 2006.

Dutchman Marijne, who was handed the reigns of the men's team in November last year, is currently at his home in the Netherlands. 

"We won the Asia Cup with dominating hockey, in the World league we had shown we can beat world class teams and with our New Zealand tour we made another step in our process to win the Asian Games and the World Cup," Marijne said in a statement posted on his official blog. 

"Unfortunately the Commonwealth Games, we did not perform the way we expected but still we had good statistics. (But) I had a lot of confidence that we could win the Asian Games and the World Cup," he maintained. 

The 44-year-old Dutchman did not have any past experience of coaching a men's team when he was given the India job but it seems he has now resigned to his fate with the women's side.

"I wish the new coach all the best with this process and I will focus on the women to continue the process I started 14 months ago. The girls worked hard and I am looking forward to see them again at the Asian Champions Trophy in Korea," Marijne said. 

The decision to replace Marijne with Harendra was taken after a review of the team's performance at Gold Coast.

Questions were raised over Marijne's team selection and preparedness for an event of such magnitude.

Some senior players had also criticised Marijne's decision to blood youngsters in the CWG-side in place of experienced campaigners like Sardar Singh, Birendra Lakra, and Ramandeep Singh to name a few, besides questioning his players-driven approach.

But Marijne, who replaced countrymate Roelant Oltmans at the helm of the men's team seven months ago, defended his style of coaching.

"The coaching style I choose was players' driven. The reason is that players have to take responsibility for their actions because they are involved and that they are supporting the plan," he said. 

"The other reason is that when you involve players in the thinking process, they will get more tactical awareness and learn faster. This is scientifically proven because they have to learn on the pitch. It means that I prepare for the matches and after this I share it with the leaders so that they can explain in Hindi to the rest of the team."

Marijne's first assignment now with the women's side will be the fifth Asian Champions Trophy in Korea starting May 13. 

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