Tokyo | The chief coach of Indian women’s hockey team, Sjoerd Marijne, on Friday disclosed that the bronze medal match against Great Britain, which India lost 4-3 in the Tokyo Olympics was his last assignment with the side. Marijne coached the Indian women’s hockey team to its best-ever performance of a fourth-place finish at the Olympics.
“I don’t have any plans because this was my last match with Indian women. It’s up to Janneke (Schopman, analytical coach of Indian team) now. I will miss the girls. But I miss my family more. My family is No 1. I want to be with my son, daughter and wife after being away for three and a half years. This is a beautiful way to end this journey,” said the 47-year-old Dutchman in a virtual press conference organised by Hockey India.
Though Marijne’s contract was till the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and was extended last year as the Olympics were postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it appears he had made up his mind before the team left for Tokyo.
Marijne was first appointed as the head coach of the Indian women’s team in February 2017. Later in the year, he was made the coach of the men’s team as his countryman Roelant Oltmans was sacked. In his place, Harendra Singh became the coach of the women’s team.
In 2018, however, he was re-appointed as the women’s coach after the men’s team finished fourth at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia. Under him, the Indian women’s team took silver medals at the 2018 Women’s Asian Champions Trophy followed by the Asian Games in Jakarta.
In 2019, the Indian women qualified for the Tokyo Olympics after beating the USA 6-5 over two legs at the FIH Olympic Qualifiers in Bhubaneswar.
Starting off his international coaching career with the Netherlands junior teams, Marijne helped guide the Under-21 women’s team to the Junior World Cup title and the men’s Under-21 team to a third-place finish at the Junior World Cup.
He was given charge of the senior Netherlands women’s hockey team in 2014. In 2015, Marijne guided them to the Hockey World League Semi-Final gold medal in Antwerp. He also coached them to a bronze in the 2014 Champions Trophy and a silver in the 2015 EuroHockey Nations Championship.
It is expected that the 44-year-old Janneke, a silver and gold medal winner in the 2004 and 2008 Olympics along with the 2006 World Cup for Netherlands and previously coached the USA women’s team, would be the front runner when Hockey India sits down to fill the post.