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Home > Sports > Hockey > PTI > Report

Aussie trainer joins hockey team

July 26, 2006 17:44 IST

A new member has joined the Indian hockey squad as it prepares for the upcoming World Cup in Germany.

Physical trainer Derick Knos from Western Australia joined the team at the ongoing fitness camp in Bangalore and will work closely with the players till the World Cup, to be held at Monchengladbach from September 6 to 17.

India coach V Bhaskaran said the 34-year-old Aussie had expressed happiness over the fitness levels of the players and also devised some new methods of physical training for the squad.

Indian hockey bosses interacted with Knos, who has worked with the Australian under-21 hockey team earlier, before hiring him.

Bhaskaran said the fitness level and morale of the team was high after the bronze medal finish at Azlan Shah tournament in Malaysia last month.

"The boys are in good shape. We will have some light workout sessions for the next three days.

"With the camp ending on Sunday, we will now focus on endurance test of the players. Goalkeepers are doing specific exercises on eye and hand movements and their reflexes have also shown improvement," he said.

The Chennai-based coach said as a part of the preparation, the players watch matches in the ongoing Champions Trophy in Spain to assess the strengths of the top teams.

Bhaskaran said a few technical aspects, including ball possession skills of mid-fielders, would be addressed at a skills training camp in Hyderabad.

The 1980 Olympic gold medallist reacted sharply to criticism that he did not field the top 11 players at the Azlan Shah tournament.

"I do not even care for such comments. A win for the country is to be credited to the players' performance. Is not the Indian cricket team winning matches even when Sachin (Tendulkar) opts out for injury reasons?

"Holland, Australia and Germany have pools of 25 players and they shuffle them for different tournaments. Some boys take breaks in the middle to concentrate on education in these countries.

"We have the best available players now and we have to work with them and focus on winning matches," he added.

Meanwhile, Indian Hockey Federation secretary K Jothikumaran said from Chennai that the selection committee members would meet in Delhi on Thursday to take stock of the players taking part in the camp.

They will also decide dates for practice matches between the World Cup-bound players and the development team that will compete in the SAF Games in Colombo next month.

The campers will move from Bangalore to Hyderabad for skill training before reaching Chennai on August 11.

The SAF Games team members will train in Chennai and will play four matches against the senior team before leaving for Colombo.

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