Scotland, 18 July 2014: Sardar Singh led Indian Men hockey team for Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games is getting ready for the challenge. Though each player in the team knows that he has to stand up and deliver, but the team is banking on their Vice-Captain & Goalkeeper P R Sreejesh and expecting him to replicate his World Cup performance at the Glasgow National Hockey Centre.
Speaking ahead of the Commonwealth Games Captain Sardar Singh said, “Our practice session today was on the entire defence line-up and with the likes of players like Gurbaj Singh (164 caps), V R Raghunath (160 caps), Rupinder Pal Singh (89 caps), Birendra Lakra (71 caps) and Kothajit Singh (71 caps) on the defending line, we are confident of being a wall to the opponents and will ensure that getting through the 5 will not be an easy task for them. While all five are working hard on their game, we are even hoping that Goalkeeper P R Sreejesh yet again stands up and delivers like the lion that he proved himself to be during the recently concluded World Cup. It is a sense of pride for me and the entire team when we see Sreejesh motivate all of us. This time the team wants to stand up to the expectations of our peppy and chirpy Goalkeeper”.
He further added, “With vigorous and high intensity training sessions at Glasgow, the team is preparing itself methodically for the upcoming tournament. We are also undertaking video analysis of the previous matches to perfect our skills and techniques and put together effective strategies for the future games.”
The Commonwealth Games will see a total of 10 teams divided into two groups. India is placed along with Wales, Scotland, Australia and South Africa in Pool A while Canada, England, Malaysia, New Zealand and Trinidad & Tobago are placed in Pool B (Full detailed schedule here)
In another interesting news of the day from the home state of Indian Goalkeeper PR Sreejesh, Hockey India has introduced Kerala Hockey as its new Associate Member after disaffiliating Hockey Kerala. The approval is subject to ratification by the Hockey India Executive Board.
The decision to approve the application of Kerala Hockey for the state was taken post disaffiliating Hockey Kerala for irregularities in its functioning and not clarifying them within sufficient time. Hockey Kerala was earlier relegated to Associate Member category by Hockey India Disciplinary Committee in May this year. Interestingly, The new body Kerala Hockey has Hockey India President Mariamma Koshy as its President and Francis K Paul as the General Secretary.
Speaking on the newly formed Kerala Hockey, Hockey India Secretary General Dr. Narinder Batra said, “I am delighted to welcome Kerala Hockey as our new member. I am sure that Kerala Hockey will work diligently to revitalize the sport in the state and their induction in Hockey India will help in nurturing talent at grass root level”.
Hockey India currently has 25 Permanent Members, 21 Associate Members, 2 Members through State Olympic Associations, 6 Academy Members and 1 Hoc-Key Member.