PR Sreejesh, the Goalkeeper of the Indian Men's Hockey Team, shared insights into the team's preparations for two significant events: the 100th Anniversary Spanish Hockey Federation- International Tournament and the Hero Asian Champions Trophy Chennai 2023. These competitions hold great importance for the team as they pave the way for the crucial Hangzhou Asian Games in September. Success in these tournaments will determine the team's qualification for the Olympics.
India will be going up against England, Netherlands, and Spain in the International Tournament organized by the Spanish Hockey Federation to celebrate Spain's 100th Anniversary.
For the Hero Asian Champions Trophy Chennai 2023, India will be up against China, Korea, Japan, Pakistan and Malaysia in single round-robin format.
Sreejesh has found tremendous value in participating in regular goalkeeping camps led by Dennis van de Pol from the Netherlands. Dennis, an esteemed goalkeeping coach, conducted a special training camp for the Indian Men's Hockey Team from July 13 to July 19. Another training session is scheduled from September 7 to September 14, ahead of the Hangzhou Asian Games 2023.
Sreejesh expressed his admiration for Dennis, highlighting his exceptional coaching skills and vast experience. The collaboration has proven beneficial, especially for young goalkeepers, as they have focused on various aspects such as penalty corner defense, penalty shootouts, and footwork. The insights provided by Dennis have greatly contributed to their preparation for upcoming important tournaments.
Sreejesh expressed his admiration for working closely with coach Dennis van de Pol, acknowledging the value of his extensive experience. Sreejesh believes that their collaboration has been beneficial, especially for the young goalkeepers. They have focused on improving various aspects such as penalty corner defense, penalty shootouts, and footwork, in preparation for upcoming important tournaments.
"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 Hero Asian Champions Trophy Chennai 2023 will be a platform to see where we stand ahead of the all-important Asian Games in September," he added.
International hockey is set to make a comeback in Chennai after a gap of 16 years, delighting hockey enthusiasts. The city had previously hosted the 2007 Men's Hockey Asia Cup, where India emerged victorious by defeating South Korea with a score of 7-2. Expressing his excitement about Chennai being chosen to host the Asian Champions Trophy and the long-awaited return of international hockey, the goalkeeper mentioned, "It's wonderful to witness Chennai as the venue for the Asian Champions Trophy. I am confident that the fans will thoroughly enjoy the matches and turn up in large numbers to support us. The hockey-loving crowd in Chennai is incredibly passionate and well-informed, and they have high expectations from us. As a team, we are eagerly looking forward to playing in Chennai and ensuring that we live up to the audience's expectations."