LAHORE: Roelant Oltmans has been approached by the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) to return as the national side’s head coach with the Azlan Shah Cup and the FIH Nations Cup around the corner.

The Dutchman has served the Pakistan senior and junior sides in the role during different periods since 2004 and was involved with the youth side in in his recent-most stint.

The cash strapped PHF is currently looking to hire Oltmans only for the Azlan Shah Cup and the Nations Cup, set to be held in Malaysia and Poland respectively in May-June, with the long-term agreement to come into question only after the two events.

Dawn has learnt the PHF has sent Oltmans the contract and that the coach is studying it.

“If he accepts the terms and conditions the PHF will hire him for the two tournaments,” a PHF told Dawn.

The federation is looking to set up the national side’s training camp in Islamabad from April 15 for the two tournaments and is hoping Oltmans agrees upon taking the coaching role — an agreement of two months — before it starts.

The last time the PHF hired a foreign coach to work with the national side, it was Oltmans compatriot Siegfried Aikman in 2022-23. The experience was one to forget for the latter as the PHF failed to pay his monthly salaries for one year due to the body’s differences with the Pakistan Sports Board.

Aikman received his dues only after he walked away from the job following a bitter time in Pakistan.

Published in Dawn, April 3rd, 2024

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