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Hockey India in no mood to replace Janneke Schopman as women's team coach

Hockey India president Dilip Tirkey said Janneke Schopman is going nowhere despite the women's team's failure to qualify for the Olympics.

Hockey India in no mood to replace Janneke Schopman as womens team coach

Indian women's hockey team coach Janneke Schopman has recently made an emotional outburst about working in India. 


Pritish Raj

Updated: 21 Jan 2024 8:01 AM GMT

Ranchi: After the Indian women's hockey team failed to book their berth for the 2024 Paris Olympics in front of the home crowd in Ranchi, many speculations have come forward regarding the future of the current Indian coach Janneke Schopman.

Schopman, who took over the reins of the team from Sjored Marjine after the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, where India dramatically finished fourth, has had a roller coaster ride with the Indian women's team in the past three years.

While the Indian team picked up a few wins and good results at the FIH Nations Cup, Asian Champions Trophy, and qualification for the FIH Pro League, they failed to deliver at the big tournaments such as the World Cup and Asian Games.

Their failure at the Olympic qualifiers has raised questions about the future of Janneke Schopman, who has been under scrutiny since India's bronze medal finish at the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, last year.

"I don't know" was disappointed Janneke's answer when she was asked about her future with the Indian team after the match.

However, dismissing all the speculations, Hockey India president Dilip Tirkey said that the federation was not thinking of any massive change in haste.

"We will let this settle first and then we will look into the plans," Dilip told The Bridge after India's exit from the Olympic qualifiers. "We don't have major concerns about the coach. We have done well recently in tournaments like Asian Champions Trophy and Asian Games," he added.

Talking about the hockey the Indian team played during the tournament, Dilip said, "The team has been playing good hockey and creating so many chances but if the players fail to convert on the turf, the coach cannot be blamed."

Dilip Tirkey's words are true but the team lacked cohesion and consistency it also true.

India started the Olympic qualifiers with a loss against the lowly USA where the team looked uncharacteristically out of rhythm. They made a comeback against New Zealand and Italy to keep the Olympic hopes alive.

The team played their best hockey against Germany in the semifinals where they gave their all to fight against a higher-ranked opponent. India left everything on the turf but they lost the game in the penalty shootout.

Playing the third place layoff just after 18 hours of the intense semifinal, the Indian team struggled against Japan, and it looked like they were yet to recover from that rigorous battle against Germany.

Hockey India secretary Bholanath Singh also echoed the sentiment of Dilip Tirkey and said that there is no need to panic about the situation and federation is well aware of the upcoming tournaments.

While Janneke had a rollercoaster coaching tenure with the Indian women, she infused the team with youth and instilled a strong mentality in the girls.

Keeping aside the speculations, the Indian team needs to regroup and focus on the upcoming FIH Pro League in Odisha which will test the team's calibre against the top teams in the world.

With the 2024 Paris Olympics chance gone, the federation has four years to prepare for the 2028 LA Olympics and the 2026 Hockey World Cup. It will be interesting to see how they approach the next cycle.

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