Indian Senior Men’s Team Captain feels this 6-week camp will be a big learning for the 11A�juniors inducted into the core probables.
Bengaluru, 21st March 2017: The Senior Men’s Hockey team is going through a transitionalA�phase and with emphasis given to juniors this new Olympic cycle, the task is cut out for theA�seniors.
While they have an added responsibility of mentoring the youngsters, they will alsoA�need to push equally hard to keep their place in the squad.
PR Sreejesh, Captain of theA�Senior Men’s Hockey Team says, “It’s a fresh beginning and with so many youngstersA�coming into the core probables, the juniors as well as seniors will really have to push for aA�spot in the national team. The juniors will need to get better and better in their skill andA�execution, adapt well in the camp and prove themselves that they are worthy of that positionA�and are ready to replace a senior player. As for a senior player, he needs to match theA�fitness and speed the juniors bring to the table. While we know that juniors will be the futureA�as we prepare for 2020 Tokyo Olympics, they shouldn’t take it for granted that they willA�make it to the squad. They need to earn it.”
Though the Junior Squad, who won the Junior Men World Cup last year, had a fabulousA�outing in 2016 and also played to their potential in the 2017 Coal India Hockey IndiaA�League, Sreejesh feels the level of game will be entirely different in the Senior team.
“TheseA�six weeks will be good exposure for them in terms of understanding the system we follow,A�learn how we strategize, plan and execute. Though they have seen us train closely as theA�junior team and we were based in the same campus almost through the year in 2016, IA�believe being in the system is very different from watching us train,” stated the IndianA�goalkeeper.
Sreejesh also feels that this is a great opportunity for youngsters to learn as much fromA�stalwarts like Sardar Singh, SV Sunil in the team. “Senior players like Sardar and SunilA�showcase great work ethics and there’s a lot the juniors can learn from them. As seniors weA�also have an added responsibility of mentoring the juniors and making sure they stay onA�track towards achieving the goals the team has set,” he added.
Speaking about the new support staff, Sreejesh said that getting two former India playersA�into the fold is a great motivating factor for the team. “Arjun (Halappa) was an attackingA�center forward and midfielder while Jugraj Singh was a very good defender and dragflickA�expert.
They understand the passion, they understand the culture of the team and it’s greatA�advantage to have them as support staff. I have worked with Hans Streeder (AnalyticalA�Coach) earlier in Coal India HIL and he is a good strategist. He was also there at the JuniorA�World Cup as part of the Dutch team and he has watched most of our players very closelyA�and understands where they need improvement,” he said.
The Indian team selection trials will be held in the following weeks to pick the final squad forA�the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup to be held in Ipoh, Malaysia starting “I feel that will be aA�great tournament to see where the juniors stand in terms of temperament andA�performance,” Sreejesh concluded.