RAJKOT: Indian men’s hockey team chief coach Graham Reid was impressed with the high level of competition at the ongoing 36th National Games and said the event would help in building a formidable team for the 2024 Paris Olympics.
Reid is here to witness the final of the eight-team hockey competition to be played at the Major Dhyanchand Stadium here on Tuesday.
“This is the first National Games I am watching. I would say it has come at the right time. The most important aspect is that many youngsters have showcased their talent which could come in handy in building a good Team India for the Paris Olympics,” said the Australian.
The 58-year-old former player, who guided India to a historic bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics, is pleased to see the individual skills of the young players in the Games but said going forward they will need to make adjustments.
“Here, in the National Games, it is more of individual skills that one gets to see while, on the international stage, it is different with a one-touch game. Individual skills are needed but the players will have to adapt to the circumstances,” Reid said.
The coach said the current Indian team has the ingredients to be one of the best in the world.
“Having said that, the focus of any member of Team India should be to adapt to the circumstances and play to potential.”
Reid also heaved praise of senior India players Harmanpreet Singh and goalkeeper PR Sreejesh, who recently won the FIH Player of the Year and Goalkeeper of the Year awards.
“He (Harmanpreet) has had a great year. I am sure he will improve and carry on the good work. He is not easily satisfied, and has the urge to improve every day, a good sign of a brilliant player,” he said.
“Yes, he (Sreejesh) has been good. The careers of the keepers are longer than other players.”


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By Dipak

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