Marijne Accepts New Role, But Says Was Confident of Winning Asiad

Sjoerd Marijne has accepted Hockey India’s decision to send him back to the women’s camp.

3 min read
Sjoerd Marijne was the coach of the Indian men’s hockey team at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

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 the 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 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 was named the Indian men’s hockey coach in November last year.
Dutchman Marijne was named the Indian men’s hockey coach in November last year.
(Photo: Hockey India)

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 have 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. 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 Word Cup.
Sjoerd Marijne

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 woman 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.
Sjoerd Marijne
Rupinder Pal Singh celebrates a goal with his teammates. (Photo: Hockey India)
Rupinder Pal Singh celebrates a goal with his teammates. (Photo: Hockey India)

The decision to replace Marijne with Harendra was taken after a review of the team's performance at Gold Coast. Questions were raised on 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 help of the men's team seven month's 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. 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.
Sjoerd Marijne

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

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