The Indian Men’s Hockey Team Goalkeeper PR Sreejesh opened up on the team’s preparations for the upcoming 100th Anniversary Spanish Hockey Federation- International Tournament and Hero Asian Champions Trophy Chennai 2023, important contests for the team ahead of the all-important Hangzhou Asian Games in September where their Olympic qualification will be at stake.
For Spain 100th Anniversary Spanish Hockey Federation- International Tournament, India will face England, Netherlands and Spain.
For the Hero Asian Champions Trophy Chennai 2023, India will be up against China, Korea, Japan, Pakistan and Malaysia in single round-robin format.
Sreejesh believes that regular goalkeeping camps with Dennis van de Pol from Netherlands has been a boon in ironing out chinks ahead of big-ticket events. Goalkeeping Coach Dennis is conducting special camp with Indian Men’s Hockey Team from July 13-July 19. He will then conduct another training session from September 7-September 14 ahead of the Hangzhou Asian Games 2023.
Speaking about working closely with Dennis, Sreejesh said, “Dennis van de Pol is a superb coach. Working closely with someone of his experience and calibre has certainly been useful. We have important tournaments going ahead and I believe that we have utilised his time well here, particularly for the young goalies too. His valuable insights and coaching skills have definitely helped. We have worked on various drills including PC defence, penalty shoot outs and most importantly our footwork.”
“For now, personally for me, my immediate focus is on the 100th Anniversary Spanish Hockey Federation- International Tournament, where we will be looking to execute whatever, we have practiced in the camp and the Hero Asian Champions Trophy Chennai 2023 will be a platform to see where we stand ahead of the all-important Asian Games in September,” he added.
Hockey fans are also in for a treat as international hockey returns to Chennai after 16 long years. Chennai earlier hosted the 2007 Men’s Hockey Asia Cup, wherein India lifted the trophy beating South Korea 7-2. Sharing his thoughts on Chennai hosting the Asian Champions Trophy and international hockey returning to the state after 16 years, the Goalkeeper said, “It is good to see Chennai hosting the Asian Champions Trophy. I am sure that the fans will enjoy the matches and come out in huge numbers to support us.
The crowd in Chennai are very passionate and knowledgeable about hockey and they will expect nothing less from us as well. We as a team are looking forward to play in Chennai and I am sure that we will live up to the audience’s expectations.”
Headquartered in New Delhi, Hockey India was established on 20th May, 2009 and is affiliated to the International Hockey Federation (FIH), the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and Asian Hockey Federation (AHF).
Committed to the development of Hockey in the country, Hockey India with the assistance of Sports Authority of India and Department of Sports, Government of India, trains players at sub-junior, junior and senior level. The governing body engages in Coaching the coaches with International Standard certification programs, educates and equips technical officials and umpires to find a foothold in international arena, provides world-class infrastructure and international exposure for the players besides regular international competition. Hockey India has also pioneered in bringing top international hockey events to India such as the FIH Men’s World Cup in 2010 and 2018, FIH Champions Trophy in 2014, FIH Junior Men’s World Cup in 2016 and 2021, FIH Hockey World League Final in 2017. With its vision to popularize the game and constantly promote it, Hockey India brought the Indian Men’s Hockey Team into the top three in the world. Hockey India is also dedicated to getting the Indian Women’s Hockey Team into the top three in the world.