Coach Oltmans heaps praise on his wards

Coach Oltmans heaps praise on his wards

Coach Oltmans heaps praise on his wards

 Indian head coach and the high performance director Roelant Oltmans was full of praise for his wards after they put up a spirited performance to win the bronze medal at the Hockey World League Final here on Sunday.

“The boys deserve all the credit for the performance they put up today. They were really good and kept their cool in crunch moments,” said Oltmans after India beat the European champions Netherlands via tiebreaker in their bronze medal tie.

“This win shows what we can do if we play the way we want to play. This will be a huge confidence booster for the side. We haven’t really done well in the medal round matches earlier, but today we showed what we can be if we play our game. This will always be a special medal for us,” he added.

Though the Indian side had a sloppy start in their medal-round tie, a few tactical changes in the second half saw the Sardar Singh-led side take the game to the opponents. And one of the noteworthy changes being, skipper Sardar – who has been a defensive midfielder throughout the tournament -- playing high up in the park.

“It was something we had tried once in the past. At the half time break we needed to bring in something new to surprise the Dutch. I consulted my strategy coach (Roger van Gent) and we thought it was the right time to move him up field and lucky it paid off,” said Oltmans describing the intent behind the move.

Sardar and goalkeeper PR Sreejesh have been the pillars around which the Indian team has been built and it was no surprise that they played a key role in their sides’ triumph. “They (Sardar and Sreejesh) have been key players in this side for long. But a lot of other individual players played really well. But the most important thing is that we have improved in every match,” said Oltmans.

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