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Tirkey gains from old foe Knox
August 18, 2006 19:41 IST
When Australian trainer Derek Knox joined the preparatory camp of the Indian hockey team last month, one person was more than happy for reasons other than professional.
India captain Dilip Tirkey was elated have an old friend training his team.
Few know that as a 16-year old, Tirkey, who was in Australia in 1994 on his debut tour with the Indian team, played against Knox, a member of the Australian squad, in a Test series.
"I was very happy to know that Knox is coming to help us. He is my old rival when we played against Australia in 1994. He is a good human being. I was glad to find him with us," Tirkey said over phone from Chennai on Friday.
The Indian skipper said Knox's innovative training methods helped the team improve its fitness.
Knox joined the fitness camp in Bangalore on July 23 and the results started showing within a few days.
"He introduced us to a host of new things, some new exercises. He asked us to pull ourselves to the maximum limit, giving least time for break," Tirkey said.
"Knox taught us some strength building exercises, put us through endurance tests and told us how to strike a balance between exercise and rest."
Tirkey admitted that Knox's assistance helped him regain the fitness he lost due to being out of action for several months nursing an ankle injury.
"I have gained a lot from his methods. Also, I think the fellow players enjoyed the new things he taught us and followed those happily," he said.
Tirkey said following a successful camp, the team is upbeat about their showing in the World Cup.
"Overall, we had a good camp, divided at three places. The fitness camp in Bangalore was good. Thereafter we had a skill development camp, where we focussed on hockey. Last, but not the least, the four matches we played in the Independence Cup in Chennai provided some match practice," he said.
Tirkey will fly to his home base in Bhubaneswar on Friday night and have a three-day break before moving to Delhi on August 22 to join the rest of the team, which will set off for Monchengladbach, Germany, to participate in the World Cup from September 6 to 17.