Germany’s Kurtz becomes Oman hockey coach

The Oman Hockey Association (OHA) has selected Oliver Kurtz of Germany as the interim coach of the senior national men's team. The German coach is expected to arrive in Muscat on February 3 and take charge of the team. The national players are currently undergoing a preparatory camp at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex ahead of round two of the FIH World Hockey League (WHL), to be played in New Delhi, India, from February 18-24.

Speaking to Muscat Daily on Saturday, Redha Taqi al Lawati, the OHA's general secretary, said, “The OHA's board members have unanimously agreed on German coach Kurtz's name. Kurtz has agreed to come to Muscat on an urgent basis and he will take control of the Oman team ahead of the New Delhi round of the WHL.” However, according to the OHA's general secretary, the association won't immediately sign any contract with Kurtz, at least till March.

Lawati said, “According to an understanding between the OHA and Kurtz, he will now join the team, which is going through a camp in Muscat. He will have a look at the players and prepare them for the WHL round two. “Later on [once the team returns from New Delhi], we will discuss our plans for our team with him and sign a contract with the coach probably in March.” Kurtz, the player-turnedcoach, was part of the 1992 Olympic gold medal-winning Germany team.

More recently, he served as the head coach of Bangladesh and assistant coach of India. The Oman team has been without a full-time coach since December 2011 when the OHA prematurely terminated its contract with the then national coach K K Poonacha. Late last year, the OHA hurriedly appointed Poonacha as interim coach for Oman's campaign in round one of the WHL in Doha, Qatar, where the sultanate team put up an average performance.

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