Sjoerd Marijne has performed his part in scripting Olympic history but the outgoing women’s hockey team chief coach still has flaws of what he feels was a disrespectful shift back in 2018, when he was shunted out from men’s side after the Commonwealth Games disappointment. The former Dutch player came to the country to take over the Indian women’s team in 2017 but was designated the chief coach of the men’s side.
However, in 2018, he was re-designated as the women’s coach in a rejigging of roles with Junior World Cup-winning coach Harendra Singh taking command of the team. But that bitter episode is still fresh in Marijne’s mind as he left the country after a successful four-year stint. “Of course, I was not really happy with the transition. I was not really happy with what happened, the way it happened with the men’s team and I don’t think that was fairly respectful,” Marijne said.
Marijne felt if given a longer time, he could have accomplished a lot with the men’s side. “But people shouldn’t misunderstand me. It was not that I was disappointed to go back to women’s team, I was not happy the way they handled it with men’s team because I left on a really good moment. On one side you have the opportunity to work with the most challenging team in the world in Indian men and on the other I was with Indian women and we were just going up. So it was a really difficult decision and I am happy how it ended. I am happy with what I did with the women’s team, so no grudges,” he said.