PR Sreejesh opened about the India’s preparations for the upcoming tournament in Spain and the Asian Champions Trophy Chennai 2023, important competitions ahead of the Hangzhou Asian Games in September where an Olympics 2024 berth will be at stake.
In Spain, India will face England, Netherlands and Spain at the 100th Anniversary Spanish Hockey Federation- International Tournament.
For the Asian Champions Trophy Chennai 2023, India will be up against China, Korea, Japan, Pakistan and Malaysia in a single round-robin format.
Sreejesh believes that regular goalkeeping camps with Dennis van de Pol has been a boon in ironing out the chinks ahead of the big-ticket events. Dennis is conducting a special camp with the Indian team from July 13 to July 19. He will then conduct another session from September 7 to September 14 ahead of the Hangzhou Asian Games.
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 Asian Champions Trophy will be a platform to see where we stand ahead of the all-important Asian Games,” 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 international hockey returning to Chennai 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,” he said.
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