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Times of India: Dont see Raghunath coming back: Oltmans (3/18/2017)
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Times of India: Don't see Raghunath coming back: Oltmans

Manuja Veerappa

BENGALURU: There is freshness in the senior men's hockey camp at the SAI, South Centre here, an excitement among the young turks -many of whom are in the senior camp for the first time. The juniors are eager to make a mark and the season campaigners are striving to match up to the challenge from the fresh faces, most of whom were part of the 2016 Junior World Cup winning squad .

Apart from the 33 core probables, chief coach Roelant Oltmans has also added new coaches to the roster --former India skipper Arjun Halappa and former dragflick ace Jugraj Singh. With a new Olympic cycle under way , Oltmans has made it clear that the emphasis will be on youth and the seniors have to accept and embrace the fact that they have to eventually make way for youngsters.

"It's a normal process in every country , especially at the start of a new Olympic cycle. Coaches can't just look at the present alone. We have to look at the future," said the Dutchman.

One prominent player who has been eased out is defender and drag-flick specialist VR Raghunath. The decision may shock some, considering Raghunath had captained India during the Australian tour in November last year. But the writing was on the wall for a while.

Oltmans on Thursday all but shut the door on the Karnataka player's international career. "To be honest, I don't see him coming back," he stated. "It was something we discussed and that will always be between him and me. In his heart of course he will fight and try to come back but at this moment, we have so many good youngsters coming up, especially in the defensive line."

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