Sreejesh not for new point system

The Indian hockey player says the idea of awarding two goal points for a field goal is demotivating for the goalkeeper.

Sreejesh is not happy with the Hockey India League's new point system.   -  K_MURALI_KUMAR

The system of awarding two goal points for a field goal, implemented in the Hockey India League this season, may have many admirers, but P.R. Sreejesh is not among them. As a goalkeeper, Sreejesh is not exactly thrilled. "I'm against it," he said at the SAI here, where the Indian men's hockey team is camped. "When you concede five goals and when the board shows ten it's a bit demotivating for the goalkeeper. It's great entertainment for the audience but it's a challenging task for the goalkeeper. Nowadays, conceding a field goal is worse than a penalty corner, so we are more worried about that."

The rules do not apply to international hockey, but two goal points or not, he would remain serious as ever in Rio, Sreejesh remarked. "At the Olympics every goal feels like ten goals. So we can’t take it lightly. Whether it's one or two goals doesn’t matter. The team needs a strong goalkeeper. A couple of good saves can change the rhythm of the game."

The forward S.V. Sunil agreed with Sreejesh on the HIL rules, believing they should not be implemented in international competition. "It helps the forwards," Sunil said. "We will try more to score field goals. But I don’t feel this should be implemented at the international level. It will be difficult for the team. If there is a goal difference of one, as the leading team we try to keep it tight but you do not know when the other side may score. Normally, you try more to score from penalty corners and try to win the game that way. But you can’t predict what will happen now."