5 June 2015, New Delhi: With the team all set to depart for Belgium week for the FINTRO FIH World League Semi-Final scheduled from 20th June – 5th July 2015, Chief Coach Paul van Ass spoke the upcoimng tournament and expectations.
Speaking on the replacements Chief Coach Paul van Ass said “Devindar Sunil Walmiki and Satbir Singh will replace Kothajit Singh and SV Sunil, while VR Raghunath because of a hamstring problem will be replaced with Rupinder Pal Singh, basically replacing a drag flicker with a drag flicker. Missing out on players happens before tournaments and we have to be ready for these kinds of situations.
Speaking on Rupinder Pal Singh he commented “I am seeing him in another position on the pitch. He will not play in the center, he will play on the sides. Will see how he plays there. I am looking at more mobility in the center”.
Speaking on the new set-up, he added “We are working on the new set-up of 10 attacking and 10 defending. While yes we are practicing we come to know of the outcome when we actually start playing. We have four practice matches before the start of the tournament, followed by the first match against France followed by Poland. So we in a way have six matches before we conclude on how exactly the new strategy is working for us and how exactly to fine tune it further. After that six matches and we have to be there”.
Speaking on the defence structure “In the past we did not close the defence structure but we have worked on this and we are practicing to close the structure. It is now to be seen how the boys will react under pressure. I am hoping it comes out good. Maybe this tournament is too early but by the next tournament it will be in place”.
Speaking on SV Sunil the coach said “He has good speed and the experience he has will be missed. But we have to live with the fact that some key players miss out and now that it has happened it gives an opportunity to other players to step up and prove themselves.”.
Speaking on the finishing, the coach commented “Finishing is like Defence. We have to make sure our attacking system stands fair chances and not just add to our circle penetrations. We have to execute in the D and which will help. It is a mental side and many players are realizing this and working on it”.
Speaking on his comeback in the team, Rupinder Pal Singh said “I will put in my best efforts for the tournament and will stand up to my responsibility. I had no idea that my comeback will be this way and not being there was definitely sad news for me but I wanted to take it positively. But now I have to prove myself and stand up to expectations. I will work on the weak points, no doubt there is mental pressure but let us hope for the best”.
FIH Hockey World League Semi-Final is scheduled from 20th June- 05 July 2015. India will be seen clashing against France at 09:30 PM IST in their opening match of the tournament on 20 June 2015.