Poonacha to be new coach

By Sports Reporter — MUSCAT: Ahli Sidab coach KK Poonacha will take charge as new coach for the Oman national hockey team. Oman Hockey Association (OHA) chairman Talib al Wahaibi said the Indian coach will sign a one-year renewable contract. Poonacha will take over from current Omani coach Ahmed al Darmaiki, who was in charge after German Oliver Kurtz left the post. The immediate target for the former India player will be preparing the national team for Hockey World League Round 2 and 2017 Asia Cup. Oman will take part in the World Hockey League Round 2 in Dhaka, Bangladesh from March 4-17, 2017.

Poonacha had led Ahli Sidab to a third-place finish in the HM Cup Championship on recently. This will be Poonacha’s third stint as Oman coach after terms in 2010-11 and 2012 for Asian Champions Trophy. The new coach will officially take over the national team in January 2017. It is expected that Poonacha’s rich experience with Oman players, coaching Ahli Sidab, will help groom right players for the national team. Poonacha was selected to the post after lengthy discussions with OHA vice-chairman Dr Mohammed Al Amri.