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Harendra Singh likely to succeed Janneke Schopman as coach of Women's Hockey Team

Harendra Singh likely to succeed Janneke Schopman as coach of Women's Hockey Team

Harendra Singh is the most likely candidate to replace Janneke Schopman as the Indian women's hockey team coach.

Harendra Singh and the Indian women's hockey team in a file photo (image credits- twitter@FirstpostSports)
By Soumya | Mar 29, 2024 | 2 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

Harendra Singh is the frontrunner to replace Janneke Schopman as the Indian women’s hockey team coach after he recently appeared for an interview, with the national body suggesting that he is the best person to lift the side following its failure to qualify for the Paris Olympics.

Harendra has previously served in the same position before being appointed as the United States men’s team coach in 2021. “Yes, Harendra is in line to replace Janneke. Hockey India is keen to appoint him. He knows the structure of Indian hockey having coached both the men’s and women’s teams in the past. He is the best person to take the women’s side to where it belongs,” a source in the national federation told PTI.

Read more: Hockey India announces 27-member squad for the upcoming Australia tour

Singh’s previous stints with Indian Hockey

Harendra has many cherishable memories in the past due to which he has been seen as the front-runner for Schopman’s replacement. He was appointed head coach of the Indian junior team in 2014. Subsequently, under his guidance the side won the 2016 men’s Junior World Cup in Lucknow.

Following such a great campaign with the junior team, Singh was given the onus of the senior women’s national team in September 2017. The side went on to win the gold medal at the 2017 Asia Cup.

Subsequently, in May 2018 Harendra replaced Dutchman Sjoerd Marijne as the senior men’s team coach. However, Harendra was shown the door in January 2019 following a string of poor performances by the men’s side. Now, he is again bestowed with the responsibility of the women’s team at a time when the women in blue find themselves in a turbulent time.

Read more: Paris Olympics 2024: Men’s Hockey Schedule, Groupings, Fixtures and more

Schopman’s tenure as head coach

Schopman took over the head coach role after India’s fourth-place finish in the Tokyo Olympics. Initially appointed as the analytical coach for the Indian women’s hockey team in January 2020, he transitioned to the head coach role following the Tokyo Olympics. Her elevation came after Sjoerd Marijne, the previous head coach, declined a contract extension, paving the way for Schopman’s leadership.

Under the guidance of Schopman, the Indian women’s hockey team has experienced a rollercoaster of emotions and performances. The team faced a significant setback by missing out on a berth in the Paris Olympics. This disappointment came after commendable achievements, including bronze medals at the 2022 Asian Games and the Commonwealth Games, a third-place finish in the 2021-22 Pro League, and clinching the first-ever FIH Women’s Nations Cup in 2022.

Read more: Manipur & Mizoram give a new identity to hockey in the North-East

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