New Delhi: Dutch hockey legend Roelant Oltmans is set to become the coach of the Sahara India Pariwar-owned Lucknow franchise in the inaugural Hockey India League, schedued to begin in January 17 next year. While Oltmans has been handpicked for the coach's job, Sahara has appointed former India captain Dhanraj Pillay as the technical director of the team.
"Oltmans is set to become the coach of our team. We have had discussions with him and more or less the deal is certain. He was very interested when we presented him with this opportunity but he is yet to sign the official contract," said Director of Sahara Adventure Sports Limited and Head Corporate Communications, Sahara India Pariwar, Abhijit Sarkar. "We have already appointed Dhanraj Pillay as the team's techinical director. We hope that both Dhanraj and Oltman's collective experience will be of great value for the team in the first HIL," he added.
Oltmans, who guided Holland to gold medals in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and 1998 Utrecht World Cup, is one of the most sought-after coaches in the world. Oltmans, who is currently coach of the men's team of Larensche Mixed Hockey Club, also coached Pakistan in 2003-04. The Dutchman was one of the frontrunners to take up the India coach's post after Spaniard Jose Brasa's departure.
Sahara has appointed former India captain Dhanraj Pillay as the technical director of the team.
He also served as the coach of the Delhi franchise in the rival World Series Hockey. The six-team HIL, the players auction of which are scheduled for Sunday, will be held across different cities of the country from January 17 to February 17, next year.