Rick Charlesworth, Roelant Oltmans sing different tunes about HIL
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They are a part of it but renowned coaches, Ric Charlesworth and Roelant Oltmans, differ about Hockey India League's benefits in the struggling host country which finished 12th at the London Olympic Games.
Four-time Olympian and former Australia skipper Charlesworth, the coach of the fifth-placed Mumbai Magicians, is not sure whether it would help Indian hockey as HIL.
"I don't know. It's hard to say. The young players would get experience, but this is not like international hockey," said Charlesworth who guided the Australian men's team to the titles in the 2010 World Cup, Champions Trophy and Commonwealth Games.
On the other hand, his counterpart with the Uttar Pradesh Wizards, celebrated Dutch coach Oltmans, sung praises about the USD two million prize money league saying it would certainly uplift Indian hockey.
"One of the reasons for this league is for the improvement of Indian hockey. I am not saying too much about it, as you know, until after the league when I will face my new job (as technical director of the Indian men's team).
"The players will learn a lot and that's very important for the future of Indian hockey," said the 58-year-old Oltmans, who was the coach when the Netherlands won the men's hockey gold in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
"Everyone in India should be really proud about this fantastic league. These matches are really of international standards and that is really good for everyone.
"(In HIL) Young players are playing with top players – every team has top players...Indians as well as foreigners – and I think it's tough. We have made 22 journeys, 22 flights.
"We (would) have 14 matches in 4 and half weeks, so you can imagine what that means. Still these players are able to put up a performance like this today, I am proud of them," said Oltmans after his side knocked out the Magicians with a 1-0 margin of victory.
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