Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Max Caldas named new Dutch men’s team coach, Paul van Ass axed


A podium finish in a World Cup usually indicates that a coach has performed his role to the satisfaction of powers-that-be. Giving ‘marching orders’ to a coach after a podium finish in a big-ticket event is seldom heard of. But the Netherlands hockey authorities have perhaps not only sprung a surprise, but also raised the ‘performance’ bar by dumping national men’s coach Paul van Ass after the Oranje brigade settled for a silver-medal finish at the recently-concluded 2014 World Cup.
Argentine Max Caldas has been named as the new Dutch men's coach and he takes over from Paul van Ass, who has been relieved of his duties ahead of his contract termination after the Dutchmen were handed a 1-6 humiliation by Australia in their own backyard in the World Cup summit clash.
One is not sure what prompted the Netherlands hockey authorities to axe Paul van Ass. But it could be possible that the Netherlands’ failure to win the World Cup as a host country and the clinical manner of their final defeat to the Kookaburras might have influenced a ‘change in guard’.
Max Caldas has proven credentials as a coach and has spent considerable amount of time in the Netherlands, having coached the Dutch women’s team to glory in the 2012 London Olympics after having taken charge of the women’s team in 2010.   
A stout defender in his playing days, Callas made his senior international debut in 1994 and went on to play in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics as well as in the 2004 Athens Olympics.

Caldas's first assignment will be the 35th Champions Trophy in Bhubaneswar in India from December 6-14.

The writer can be contacted at: suhridbarua@gmail.com




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