The Sports Authority of India (SAI) Academy head coach Prakhar Patel said the secret of his team winning the 1st Junior Women Academy National Championship was that it played with a positive mind.
“Our performance over the course of the event was very positive. My team adapted to the playing conditions early on and coped quite well. I’m very happy with the defence line as a whole, as well as our penalty corner conversion rate. Moreover, we have managed to defend penalty corners efficiently as well,” he said.
The SAI Academy defeated Madhya Pradesh Hockey Academy 2-1 in the final to claim the winner’s trophy.
“We missed some chances in the final which we should have converted, but our defence line held up particularly well and won us the match. We faced a very tough Final opponent in Madhya Pradesh Hockey Academy and I am glad that we overcame the last hurdle successfully,” Patel said looking back at the final.
The SAI Academy put on a dominant display from day one in the tournament, and remained undefeated.
SAI Academy made it a clean sweep in Bhubaneswar as the U-17 girls won the 1st Sub-Junior Women Academy National Championship as well.
“This feat shows the good work SAI Academy is doing in grassroots hockey in the country. SAI Academy has various centres across the country where we train the best talent and select players from all over India. When you have players from various different regions, the focus is to work on the coordination and collective mindset of the team,” Patel said.
“We worked on this by training in a one month camp in Bhubaneswar before the tournament, and continued to improve as we progressed in the competition.”