Friday, February 26, 2010

Zolkples clears Oltmans mystery

DUTCHMAN Roelant Oltmans has only some minor issues to iron out before taking over as the national hockey coach on May 1.
"We have been in constant touch with Oltmans and he is keen to come to Malaysia and is only waiting to clear some minor details before signing his contract," said National Sports Council director general Datuk Zolkples Embong yesterday.
"If he comes, he will not only coach but also conduct coaching courses for locals."
Oltmans has experience in coaching the Dutch national side as well as Pakistan and is currently with clubside Laren.
Besides his job at Laren, Oltmans has a part-time position at the Dutch National Olympic Council.
It is believed that he will be paid E10,000 (RM50,000) per-month.
"We are looking at a two-year contract, with an option to be extended for another year. If all works out well, we are looking for a long term commitment.
"The present coaching structure stays, with Stephen van Huizen and Tai Beng Hai remaining as national coaches," said Zolkples.
At yesterday's NSC-Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) joint-committee meeting, it was proposed that two national teams be groomed for the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi (October) and the Guangzhou Asian Games (November).
Currently, 25 players are in training, but NSC is agreeable to foot the bill for another five.
"Our plan is to either send a mixed team or a totally different team to the Commonwealth Games, while another team concentrate on the Asian Games.
"I believe we have many talented youth in training right now, and sending them to the Commonwealth Games will give them the exposure to fight for a spot in the Asian Games squad.
"However, we leave it in Oltmans' hands, and will let him have the final say. If he wants to send the best for the Commonwealth Games, so be it," said Zolkelpes.
Malaysia learnt a bitter lesson in 2006 where they finished third in the Melbourne Commonwealth Games in March, but a month later, were total washout in the China World Cup Qualifier where they finished ninth.