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Players praise coach Reid

In Tuesday’s final at the SAI eastern region complex turf, IOCL beat Punjab National Bank 2-0
Hardik Singh on Tuesday
Hardik Singh on Tuesday
Santosh Ghosh

Sayak Banerjee   |   Calcutta   |   Published 12.11.19, 08:25 PM

Chief coach Graham Reid’s experience and knowledge of modern-day hockey should be hugely beneficial for the India men’s team in the Tokyo Olympics, Hardik Singh and Kothajit Singh believe.

Both Hardik and Kothajit were part of the Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) side that won the Beighton Cup hockey tournament.

In Tuesday’s final at the SAI eastern region complex turf, IOCL beat Punjab National Bank 2-0. Karajwinder Singh and Gurjinder Singh scored in the 41st and 45th minutes, respectively, for IOCL.

“He (Graham) has been the coach of Australia before and also worked with a legend like Ric Charlesworth. He worked with the Dutch side too as assistant coach, so he will be able to use all his experience and formulate a combination of Aussie and Dutch styles. That should be a great advantage for our team,” midfielder Hardik, a member of the squad that played the recent Olympic qualifiers against Russia, told The Telegraph.

“More emphasis is on attacking hockey since he has worked in Australia, while he also knows the European style of play. He’s very well versed with modern-day hockey,” Kothajit pointed out.

The players are quite confident of India’s success in next year’s Olympics, but penalty corner conversion and penetration in the D are two aspects that they feel require improvement.

“We need to work on penalty-corner conversions and penetration in the D.Drag-flicking too has to improve for success in the Olympics.We need to work on these areas in the upcoming camp (from November 18 in Bhubaneswar),” Kothajit analysed.

Hardik, though, has a different view on the matter. “When it comes to penalty-corner conversion, I think we are converting 35 per cent of them. The percentage is not bad under the circumstances,” he said.

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