Monchengladbach (Germany), Nov 10 (IANS) With less than a year to go for the Rio Olympics, the German field hockey team suffered a big blow as the two-time defending champions’ head coach Markus Wiese resigned on Tuesday to work for the country’s football federation.

The 52-year-old, who also guided his country’s women to gold medal in 2004 Olympics, will end his term with the national side in mid-November, German hockey association, DHB confirmed.

Wiese, considered one of the sharpest brains in organised and tactical hockey, will be tasked to build a new academy of the German Football Association. He will not be around the team during the eight-nation Hockey World League (HWL) Final to be held in Raipur, India, from November 27 to December 6. DHB president Wolfgang Hillmann said on Tuesday: “After careful consideration — after all, we are with the men’s team in the midst of preparing for the Olympics in Rio — we decided not to stand in the way of Markus Weise’s this career opportunity.”

“Of course, we regret his departure very much. Markus is to be replaced as a coach in hockey personality of anyone. But he has, not only by the three Olympic medals with the men’s and women’s team, so great service to our sport and our federation that we are very happy for him that his competence has recommended him for such a task.”

Wiese said: “I had thought, and wondered whether I carry on with DHB after the 2012 Olympics. But there was no concrete idea which appealed to me. Now came relatively surprisingly this really real chance — I am bald, mid-50 and had to ask if I’m doing so on until retirement me — and so I had to decide.”

“This has been also hurting me. Ultimately, those opportunities come but never at the ideal time. I have the sporting management and the team committee with involved early. The boys have accepted my decision and are as I think that then rapidly the new situation will come to fruition,” Wiese, who has been the head coach of the men’s team since 2006, added.

“Means that I say goodbye on Tuesday with the camp starting in Mannheim so that the team can settle under the new conditions already for the World League.”

Under Wiese, Germany won Europoean Championship twice in 2011 and 2015, apart from the silver medal in the 2010 World Cup and the Champions Trophy in 2014. But they also surrendered Euro title to the Netherlands this year and finished a surprising sixth in the 2014 World Cup, leading calls for a change of guard.

    The IANS was founded by Indian American publisher Gopal Raju as the India Abroad News Service. It was later renamed the Indo-Asian News Service.

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