Indian hockey team player from Allahabad Danish Mujtaba said that the teams morale is high after defeating France 8-1 in the final of the Olympic qualifiers but at the same time he knows that they have to work hard in order to do well at the Olympics. Talking to The Indian Express,Danish said,We played well today. We were confident of a win as we had defeated France in the league stage. Sandeep Singh is a top drag-flicker in the world. We had planned to go for the short-corners and give Sandeep the chance. Though we had expected that we will score five or six goals,scoring eight goals has been very encouraging.Talking about Indias prospects at the Olympics,Danish said,There the level of challenge will be higher. We have Azlan Shah hockey tournament and a Europe tour ahead of the Olympics. We will use these opportunities to polish our skills further ahead of the mega event. Senior hockey coach M Raza who has been coach of Danish Mujtaba at SAI sub-centre,Lucknow and is looking after the training of another India player Kothajit Singh informed, I have been getting phone calls from the young hockey trainees from SAI sub-centre at Lucknow. Indian victory is being celebrated there. The way India capitalised on the penalty-corners,one can say that a lot of hard work has been done in this area.Talking to The Indian Express,Hockey India selector Olympian Syed Ali said, It is a big thing to qualify for the Olympics. It was heartening to see a highly encouraging crowd support. Even twelve-year-olds were asking us as to whether they can play hockey. Before the match,we had thought that India would be able to score around five goals but the way the team played it would not have been surprising even if India had scored a dozen goals.Olympian Sujeet Kumar said,Indian hockey had suffered badly when the team could not qualify last year. I am happy that India has performed impressively in the qualifiers. Good results coming at the senior level are a source of inspiration for the budding players which could lead to a proper hockey revival in the country.
Written by Wajiha Shah | Lucknow | Published: February 23, 2012 2:57 am