India’s hockey future is linked to their team’s success: OltmansMarch 9th, 2010 - 12:04 am ICT by IANS
New Delhi, March 8 (IANS) Dutch hockey legend Roelant Oltmans is pained to see Hockey World Cup being played in a big stadium with small crowds.
Oltmans, who is here as a part of a delegation of the Netherlands Olympic Committee, feels people will fill the stands only if the national team does well internationally.
“It is a pity that these days people don’t come to the stadium to see hockey. During my playing days I have never seen such thin crowd in a hockey match and that, too, in a World Cup,” Oltmans told IANS.
“You can’t blame the spectators. They will not come here to see the national team lose. It is very important for the national team to do well in such major international tournaments.”
And the same applies to India, Oltmans pointed out.
“It is not possible for India to recover the ground they have lost. Now they should concentrate on the national team so that its success can regenerate the interest in the game in the country,” he said.
The Dutchman also said the Indian players have to work hard on their fitness if they want to succeed playing the European style of hockey.
“Indians were late to take to synthetic turf. That’s a big mistake. The European countries have done exceedingly well on turf. There is no denying the fact that Indians are skillful but they have to work hard on their fitness,” he said.
Oltmans feels Spaniard Jose Brasa is the best man to help Indian hockey.
“No one expected India to win the World Cup. Let’s be practical about it. Brasa can’t do miracles in seven months. Give him time to mould the team as he is well versed with the European style.”
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