Oltmans ‘happy’ to have Halappa, Jugraj in coaching set-up

Oltmans believes Arjun Halappa has the personality to become a good coach.

Indian hockey team manager Roelant Oltmans believes Arjun Halappa and Jugraj Singh’s experience will help the team.   -  Rajeev Bhatt

Roelant Oltmans has welcomed the addition of former stars Arjun Halappa and Jugraj Singh to India’s coaching set-up. Halappa has begun working with the players at the national camp, which commenced here this week, while Jugraj is expected to arrive soon. The pair will be joined by a goal-keeping coach, with the three Indian coaches to work under Oltmans. “I had asked Arjun a number of times before to join us. So far he had said no because he wanted to play. But this time, he didn’t need more than five minutes to take his decision. I really believe he has the know-how and the personality to become a good coach. I’m really happy,” Oltmans said.

Jugraj’s expertise as a drag-flicker was important, he felt. “Arjun is more attacking while Jugraj has been a good defender and drag-flicker. We can use his experience in the area. Two very good Indian guys.”

Tushar Khandker, however, has left the coaching staff. “Tushar did a wonderful job for the period he was involved with us,” Oltmans said. “I can imagine that after such a stressful and tough year you need to spend some time with your family especially when you have young children. Because we are never at home, we are away all the time. Tushar got his deserved break. But I am sure he will come back somewhere in the system.”