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Coach sans players at camp

April 27, 2005 21:58 IST

None of the national team probables turned up on the first day of the month-long preparation camp for the Sultan Azlan Shah hockey tournament in Delhi on Wednesday.

With the camp now set to effectively start on Thursday, sources in the Indian Hockey Federation informed that media persons would not be allowed to approach the 34 probables. A notice board put up at the National Stadium, venue of the camp, also said that journalists are barred from even going near the playing area.

Strangely, there was no word from the IHF regarding the probables' absence.

However, newly-ppointed coach Rajinder Singh (Jr) was at the ground on the first day of what is sure going to be a challenging assignment.

"It is always a challenge to coach at any level and I am ready for the challenge. Our immediate target is to win the Azlan Shah," he said.

Rajinder looked ready to begin his job having done all the homework.

"We have to work overall on the team but conversion of penalty-corners, defending them and inside the circle play are some of the areas we need to concentrate on," he said.

"Hockey is a team game so we have to play as a team," he added.

The Azlan Shah tournament begins on May 26.

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