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Hockey India’s young guns sweats at practice season
Sportslogon Team November 23rd 2017

Bhubaneswar : Indian Men’s Hockey Team had their first training session on Thursday morning here at Kalinga Stadium after arriving in the city on Wednesday for the season finale Odisha Men’s Hockey World League Final Bhubaneswar 2017.

The mega event will see top teams in the world battle for supremacy starting December 1 when defending Champions Australia will meet India in their first Pool B match while England will take on Germany.

Eyeing in the future assignment World Cup Hockey 2018 and Olympic 2020 the Indian team seams to provide opportunity to young players in the World League. The young guns are also sweating a lot in the practice season to prove their potential.

We are getting all guidance from the coach and the senior players also helping us to in all aspects. The young players are always in a learning mood. I will play my first international match in my home ground. Never the less the team combination is shaping up day by day, said Dipsan Tirkey. The absence of senior player like Sardar Singh and P R Sreejesh will give a chance to few new players to make their mark for the future. The former Captain and great goalkeeper Sreejesh has been rested by the selectors due to injury. Though he started his practice but the selectors has belive that Sreejesh most give more time for the rehabilitation programm, he may join the team in 2018.

In absence of Sreejesh the young and talented goalkeepers Akash Anil Chikte and Suraj Kerketa will shoulder the responsibility.

The 43-year-old Dutchman Sjoerd Marijne emphasized on speed and tactical training as the 18-member squad played a short 30-minute half-court match against each other. “Our first practice session went well. It is good to be at the Kalinga Stadium. While it is my first time here, for the players it is like home because all of them have played many Hockey India League matches here. The pitch is fast so we like it,” expressed Marijne after the 90-minute training session.

The next one-week Marijne wants to build the intensity during the training sessions. “The focus is to get the intensity higher and higher for our conditioning as we approach match day. Our preparations have been really good with the 18-day national camp in Bengaluru but there is scope to get our level higher ahead of the tournament. We play short matches among ourselves so we keep the guys in match momentum,” stated Marijne.

The team also plays practice matches against Olympic gold medalists Argentina and England on November 27 and 28 respectively. Prier to this the team will also play practice match with Korea as the team reaching here on Friday.

“For me the most important thing is performance. Rupinder and Biru (Birendra Lakra) who are making a comeback also get an extra match before going into our first game against Australia. While I am happy with how the players have done in training, playing matches is always good. It doesn't matter that England are grouped with us. Playing practice match against any team is welcome and also both teams follow each other closely so there are not many secrets between each other,” he remarked. .
This news was added and updated on : November 23rd 2017
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