Indian men’s hockey team captain Manpreet Singh has sounded optimistic about India’s chances at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics while interacting with the media. The skipper believes that the team has the potential to reach the finals of the mega event provided the unit stick around as a unit and keep up with discipline and consistency which is needed to excel.
The 2019 season has been good for the team in terms of performance although there were not many international matches in the calendar year. “Looking back, 2019 has been very good for us. We started the year in the fifth spot and managed to maintain that. The biggest aim for us in 2019 was to qualify for the Olympics and we have managed to achieve that under a new coach,” Manpreet said to the media.
“Our main target in 2020 is to reach the finals of the Olympics and believe me it’s achievable. Throughout the year we have managed to maintain the No 5 position in world rankings and there is no reason why we can’t climb from that. But for this, we have to maintain the consistency which we have shown in the entire 2019,” he added.”
If we roll back to the 2018 season, many had termed it as a disappointing one. We need to understand the fact that the constant change in the set up unsettles things. Even the best of the players suffer, the style of play and tactics take a backseat. Since 2009, there have been changes with regards to the appointment of coaches. The numbers might surprise many but seven coaches have served the Indian team from 2009 to 2018.
The team now has a new coach, Australian Graham Reid who took over as the Head Coach in April last year being the eight coach since 2009. His reputation precedes him and is a well know coach at the international circuit having served the Netherlands team recently.
Captain Manpreet is also happy and is all praise for the new crop of youngsters who have been playing fearless hockey. On an individual level, Manpreet has something to cherish about. He has been nominated for the 2019 FIH Player of the Year award for his splendid form. The team which has eight Olympic titles under their belt surely has a good mix of young talent and experience and to play the finals will mean the world to them.