Leading Candidate Harendra Singh To Take Janneke Schopman’s Spot As Women’s Hockey Coach

Following his recent interview, Harendra Singh emerged as the front-runner to take Janneke Schopman’s place as the coach of the Indian women’s hockey team. The national organization believes Singh is the most qualified candidate to improve the squad after it was unable to qualify for the Olympics in Paris. Prior to being named the coach of the US men’s national team in 2021, Harendra held this similar role in the past. “Yes, Harendra will take Janneke’s place. Hockey India is eager to have him appointed. Having coached both the men’s and women’s teams in the past, he is familiar with the Indian hockey system. He is the most qualified individual to lead the women’s side back to its rightful place, a national federation source told PTI.

“Moreover, after spending the last few years abroad, it is in his best interest as well. The sole matter that still needs to be resolved is compensation discussion, as he is now receiving a substantial income in the US and it is unclear if it will be comparable.” Although Bhola Nath Singh, secretary-general of Hockey India, acknowledged that Harendra attended the interview, he added that his appointment is still pending because there are still other candidates.

“Yes, Harendra showed up for the interview, but we haven’t made any decisions yet. We would consider all factors before making our decision, and there are eleven or twelve contenders,” Bhola Nath told PTI, declining to provide any details.

The Sports Ministry limits Indian coaches’ monthly compensation to Rs 3 lakh, although it has been reported that Harendra is requesting more due to his existing deal with the US team.

Should Harendra be appointed, he will take over for Schopman, who resigned last month, citing a challenging work environment for foreign coaches in India following the women’s team’s failure to make it to the Paris Games.

In Indian hockey history, Harendra has worn a variety of headgear. The Indian junior squad won the 2016 men’s Junior World Cup in Lucknow under his leadership after he was named head coach in 2014.

In September 2017, he was named head coach of the senior women’s national team after his success with the youth squad. The team went on to win the Asia Cup gold medal in 2017.

Harendra took over as the senior men’s team coach in May 2018 after Dutchman Sjoerd Marijne left to focus on the women’s squad.

However, Harendra was fired in January 2019 as a result of several subpar men’s team performances.

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