Hockey

Harendra Singh Frontrunner To Replace Janneke Schopman As Women's Hockey Coach

If appointed, Harendra will replace Schopman, who quit last month complaining about difficult work environment for foreign coaches in India after the women's team failed to qualify for the Paris Games

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Harendra Singh Photo: X/TheHockeyIndia
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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. (More Sports News)

Harendra has served at the same position in the past 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.

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"Moreover, it is in his best interest also having been out of the country for the past couple of years. The only issue which remains is negotiation of salary because he is drawing a handsome amount in the US and it remains to be seen whether it can be matched."

Hockey India secretary-general Bhola Nath Singh confirmed that Harendra appeared for the interview but said his appointment is not yet confirmed as there are other candidates as well.

"Yes, Harendra has appeared for the interview but nothing has been decided from our side yet. There are 11-12 candidates and we will decide taking into account every aspect," Bhola Nath told PTI without elaborating further.

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According to the Sports Ministry rules, Rs 3 lakh per month is the cap for Indian coaches but it has been learnt that Harendra is demanding more as per his current package with the US team.

If appointed, Harendra will replace Schopman, who quit last month complaining about difficult work environment for foreign coaches in India after the women's team failed to qualify for the Paris Games.

Harendra has worn many hats in Indian hockey in the past. He was appointed head coach of the Indian junior team in 2014, and under his guidance the side won the 2016 men's Junior World Cup in Lucknow.

Following his success with the junior side, he was appointed the head coach of the senior women's national team in September 2017. The side went on to win the gold medal at the 2017 Asia Cup.

In May 2018, Harendra replaced Dutchman Sjoerd Marijne as the senior men's team coach with the former taking over the women's side.

Harendra, however, was shown the door in January 2019 following a string of poor performances by the men's side.

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