India Men’s Hockey Team head coach Graham Reid was impressed by the high level of competition at the ongoing 36th National Games and said the event would help build an impressive team for the Paris 2024 Olympics.
Reid is here to catch the finals of the eight-team ice hockey competition being played here on Tuesday at Major Dhyanchand Stadium. “These are the first National Games that I watch. I would say it comes at the right time. The most important aspect is that many young players have shown their talent, which could come in handy to build a good Team India for the Paris Olympics,” said the Australian.
The 58-year-old former player, who led India to a historic bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics, is pleased with the young players’ individual skills at the Games but said they will need to make adjustments going forward.
“Here at the National Games you get to see more of an individual ability, whereas on the international stage it’s different with a one-touch game. Individual skills are required, but players have to adapt to the circumstances,” said Reid. The manager said the current Indian side have the ingredients to be among the best in the world.
“Nevertheless, every member of Team India should focus on adapting to the circumstances and fulfilling their potential.” Reid also praised top-ranked Indian players Harmanpreet Singh and goalkeeper PR Sreejesh, who recently won the FIH Player of the Year and Goalkeeper of the Year awards the Year had won.
“He (Harmanpreet) had a great year. I am sure he will improve and keep up the good work. He’s not easily satisfied and has the urge to improve every day, which is a good sign of a brilliant player,” he said. “Yes, he (Sreejesh) was good. The career of goalkeepers is longer than that of other players.”