It took him quite some time to sign the official contact with the Bangladesh Hockey Federation. His first major assignment with the men in red and green was the Hockey World League Round 2 that concluded on Sunday in Dhaka with the home side finishing fifth after winning three and losing as many out of six matches.
Following the end of the tournament, Kurtz talked with the media. Here are the excerpts:
A win against Ghana to finish fifth. How do you rate this game?
I cannot be happy with the match [Sunday] because of too many easy mistakes. And we were getting nervous in the second half. We were a little bit confused. I give them (Bangladesh) credit for fighting spirit in the last five minutes. At the end of the day, I think we were a little bit lucky.
Missed chances and defensive blunders by Bangladesh are regular occurrences these days. How are you going to improve it?
For the next six months, we want to prepare the team for the Asia Cup. We hope to have a strong preparation camp outside the country with hard matches. This is key. This is what we are missing. Inshallah, we will make a good programme. I will meet the president, may be [Tuesday]. Hopefully we will fix the programme and preparation time (before) the Asia Cup.
How do you evaluate the performance of your midfield, defence and attack in this edition's six matches?
For me, the main thing is the mentality. [Saturday] we played a good match, and [Sunday] our mentality seemed to have come (a) little bit down. So we have to work on our mentality first to get stronger at home.
There has been criticism for not including Hasan Jubair Niloy and Pushkor Khisa Mimo. Did you feel the absence of the attacking duo in the tournament?
It [doesn't] depend on each individual player. My idea, my way of playing hockey as a team, if players are not disciplined and show no respect and follow the rules of the national team, then they are only club players. Very easy. We now have 27 players. We will continue with the players.
Are you satisfied with the replacements of the attacking duo?
No. But (in) our key match against Oman, we gave away three points. So in this situation, we need (to) work on our players also if they are coming a little bit down. But they are still controlling the match.