Champions Trophy will help get best combination for Rio: Hockey coach

Bengaluru, April 26 (IANS) Indian hockey team’s chief coach Roelant Oltmans on Tuesday said the forthcoming Champions Trophy, Six Nations Tournament and friendlies against top sides will help get the right combination ahead of the Rio Olympics.

“If we manage to do that, then we come close to being medal contender which is our core mission. We also play a few games such as Champions Trophy, Six Nations Tournament which will determine the best combination plays at the Olympics. We also play friendlies with Spain, Belgium and New Zealand. This gives us opportunity to test like we did in Malaysia,” Oltmans said in a Hockey India release.

Indian men’s hockey team finished second behind world champions Australia and returned with a silver in the recent Sultan Azlan Shah Tournament in Malaysia.

Speaking about his men’s recent outing, Oltmans said, “Satisfied is a big word and people who know me, know well that I can’t feel satisfied so easily, but the performance of the team is always getting better. It is important to me as a coach that the level we touched remains consistent.”

Speaking of the final against Australia, the coach believes that the team’s defence tactics were good.

“Australia is the No.1 side in the world but at the same time, we put forth an improved show at Azlan Shah. Our defence was well structured,” says the Dutchman.

“We had an experimental team at Azlan Shah. Shreejesh is the No.1 goalkeeper in India and we didn’t bring him to Malaysia to test the others. While I believe Harjot and Akash could have done better, we are overall working to better goalkeeping with the seven other boys via special sessions,” added Oltmans.



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