Kolkata: Quite some time back, there was a lot of talk regarding the Indian hockey team as many said that it did not need a coach of foreign origin. And Dutchman Roelant Oltomans was appointed, who although didn’t have a great Rio Olympics with the team last year, worked hard and came back stronger to fetch a silver at the Azlan Shah Cup and a gold medal at the Asian Champions Trophy.
However this time, not one but four foreigners as scientific advisers have been appointed by Hockey India for the development of Indian hockey. The four scientific advisers would thus help the junior and senior national hockey teams maintain proper fitness levels. This move, quite understandably has been made with an outlook of a better Indian performance in all major international events including World Cups and the all-important 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The four foreigners, who would join the Indian hockey setup are Australians Scott Conway and Daniel Barry and South Africans Robin Anthony Webster Arkell and Wayne Patrick Lombard. All of them carry a lot of experience with them which would be of immense help to the Indian hockey teams.
The secretary general of Hockey India, Mushtaque Ahmed was delighted to announce the inclusion of these specialists in the Indian hockey setup as he said, “We are happy to bring on board Scott Conway, Robin Anthony Webster Arkell, Wayne Patrick Lombard and Daniel Barry who will be working with the national teams for men and women, both senior and junior, as scientific advisers. Their names were approved in the selection committee meeting for foreign coaches held in January and we thank the Sports Authority of India for completing the formalities at the earliest to ensure the new recruits join the respective camps.”
“With their vast experience and knowledge in their domain, I believe they will help us achieve our goals in the lead up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the senior World Cups with a well-rounded approach in terms of development of our players. I wish them all the very best in this pursuit” added Ahmed.
Conway would perform his duties as the new scientific adviser of the senior men’s team. Arkell would be the new scientific adviser of the junior men’s team. Arkell was earlier the lead strength and conditioning coach of Senior Currie Cup squad, Pumas Rugby. He was also the assistant strength and conditioning coach of Western Province in the U-21 Currie Cup. He also has an experience of working with the Western Province Cricket Club, the UCT Rugby team at the U-20 level and with the South African U-16 rugby training camp.
Lombard would function as the scientific adviser of the senior women’s national team. Lombard had earlier in his capacity, served as the Athletic Performance, Liaoning Province, China Hockey. He was also the senior biokineticist, of the Discovery High performance Centre (HPC) at the Sports Science Institute of South Africa (SSISA). Adding to this, he was also the medical manager and the head strength and conditioning specialist of the University of Cape Town Cricket Club.
And Barry, another Australian, has been named as the scientific adviser of the junior women’s hockey team. Barry was earlier the strength and conditioning coach of the Western Australian Cricket Association at Perth adding to his past roles as the head strength and conditioning coach of the Shanghai Women Basketball team in the Shanghai Sports Institute in China and as the strength and conditioning consultant at Indonesian Olympic Committee.
With the appointment of these foreign specialists, Indian hockey could certainly look to aim at achieving greater heights in the future. After all, at the end of the day, it is the success in the game that counts, and if it can be achieved using help of foreigners, so be it.
(With inputs from PTI)