Malaysia appoints Oltmans as new head coach of national hockey team

Oltmans’ main priority will be to guide Malaysia to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games through next year’s qualifying tournaments.

Roelant Oltmans has been appointed as head coach of the Malaysian men's hockey team. (File Photo)   -  K. Murali Kumar

Former India coach Roelant Oltmans was Monday appointed as the new head coach of the Malaysian men’s national hockey team with an aim to take the side to the next level.

 

MHC president Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal confirmed Oltmans’ appointment at a press conference here.

Long-serving Stephen Van Huizen has not been appointed as an assistant coach and team manager.

Oltmans’ main priority will be to guide Malaysia to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games through next year’s qualifying tournaments after missing out on a golden chance to seal a direct berth through the Asian Games, where it lost to Japan in the final.

Oltmans was sacked as chief coach of the Indian men's hockey team in September last year after a string of unimpressive outings at the international level.

Under the Dutchman’s guidance, India rose to World No 6. He also served as India’s High-Performance Manager during his four-year tenure.

Oltmans then took over as Pakistan coach in March this year but within six months —  after a string of unimpressive performances — was shown the door.

But India and Pakistan’s loss turned out to be Malaysia's gain as the MHC wasted no time in lapping up the Dutchman.

The 64-year-old Oltmans is regarded as one of the best coaches in the world and is best known for guiding the Netherlands to the 1996 Atlanta Olympic gold and 1998 Utrecht World Cup title.

Incidentally, another former India coach Terry Walsh, who worked under Oltmans when he was the High-Performance Director, is currently the Technical Director of Malaysia hockey.