Harmanpreet Singh: Hockey Pro League restart will help India study European teams

The league – both men’s and women’s – will recommence behind closed doors with powerhouses Germany and Belgium facing off on September 22 in Germany.

Indian drag-flicker Harmanpreet Singh is looking forward to the resumption of Hockey Pro League this month.   -  K. MURALI KUMAR

Indian drag-flicker Harmanpreet Singh is looking forward to the resumption of the FIH Hockey Pro League this month, saying it will provide insight into the combinations that European teams employ and help in preparations for the forthcoming season.

The league – both men’s and women’s – will recommence behind closed doors with powerhouses Germany and Belgium facing off on September 22 in Germany.

“Both these teams are really good and of course we are eager to watch them play and we will be following these matches closely because it will give us insights into their variations, any new combinations they are using,” said Singh, who is currently part of the ongoing national coaching camp in Bengaluru.

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The Indian men’s team, which is currently fourth in the table with 10 points from six games, will resume its Pro League season in April next year against host country Argentina.

With two wins, two draws and two losses against the Netherlands, Australia and Belgium, India looked in good touch in the Pro League before the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted the calender.

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Singh, who captained India to victory at the FIH Olympic Test Event in Tokyo last year, feels the Indian team has plenty of time to return to form and watching these matches will help the side prepare for its Pro League campaign.

Singh also credited the coaching staff for ensuring that the Indian players maintained their fitness levels over the past five months when training was halted due to nationwide lockdown.

“The good thing that happened during the past five months was the coaching staff,, particularly our scientific advisor Robin Arkel, kept a close watch on our fitness and diet,” he said.

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