World Cup the target for junior hockey team

Saturday, 19 October 2013 13:07

Baljit Singh Saini, assistant coach of the men's junior hockey team, said on Thursday that the youngsters have a lot of work to do despite winning the Sultan of Johor Cup.

"We beat some major teams in the Sultan of Johor Cup, but we cannot be complacent. Despite winning the tournament, we spotted certain shortcomings which we need to work on. Our penalty corner conversion rate wasn't so great," Saini said on the sidelines of the felicitation ceremony of the team which won the gold medal in Malaysia last month.

Cheques of Rs. 1 lakh were distributed to each player of the team and their chief coach, South African Gregg Clark, by Union sports minister Jitendra Singh. Six other members of the support staff were also given cheques of Rs. 50,000 each.

Saini said the Asian Champions Trophy in November would help the team prepare for the men's junior hockey World Cup which will be held here in December. "That will show us the areas we need to improve upon and also in identifying the best playing XI. World Cup is our main target," he added. Clark echoed his assistant's sentiments and said the Junior World Cup was the "big focus" for the team. "Asian national championship would be a good preparation for the big tournament. Every match would be a good test," he said.

Midfielder Harjeet Singh was awarded an additional cheque of rupees one lakh for winning the 'Most Promising Player of the Tournament Award' in the Sultan of Johor Cup.

Cash awards were also presented to the members of senior men's and women's team. V R Raghunath, P R Sreejesh and Ramandeep Singh of the men's team and goalkeeper Savita of the women's team were awarded one lakh each for their performance in different events. Another member of the senior women's team, Rani, was presented a trophy for completing 100 international caps.

Roelant Oltmans, the high performance director of the national teams, was also present at the event and expressed happiness over the hiring of Aussie Terry Walsh as the new coach of the senior team.

"I am happy that Terry is coming. I played a role in that as well. He is a good candidate... He is mature, has a lot of experience and can make this team better again."

Fund for hockey doubled

Meanwhile, Singh announced that the government has decided to double the allocated funds for training and setting up of new infrastructure for hockey in the country.

Rate this item
(0 votes)
Read 927 times

Upcoming Hockey Events

No events

Our Hockey Network