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Dutch players find PHL's innovations exciting

December 23, 2007 15:40 IST

Some of the Dutch players taking part in the fourth edition of the Premier Hockey League in Chandigarh feel that PHL has introduced many innovations which can be applied to international hockey to make it more exciting.

A normal 70-minute hockey game includes two sessions, each of 35 minutes duration, but the PHL has four sessions each of 17-and-a-half minutes, which makes the game more interesting, Dutch players Olivier Rutgers and Sebastian
Westerhout said.

The innovative penalty shootout, where each team gets five chances with the players having a one-on-one with the rival goalkeeper is another feature which the world hockey can take up, they said.

"However, the system where every team is given 2X2 minutes (mandatory) time-outs in regulation time can be done away with. This breaks the rhythm and flow of the game," both the Dutch players, who are playing for Bangalore Hi-Fliers in the three-week long competition, told PTI on Sunday.

Another Dutch player, drag-flicker Melchior Loojien, says PHL is quite a professional league and everything about it is of world standard.

"Each day, we have video analysis of where we went wrong and what could have been done in a particular situation. It helps players get instant feedback besides improving their game," he said.

The Dutch players said the Indians were highly skilled in their game and hoped that they would make the cut for the Olympics next year.

"We are hopeful they will do well in the Olympic qualifiers. Everybody wants India to do well." However, Sebastian and Olivier said India should groom more penalty corner specialists.

"Also, unlike in Dutch hockey, where the emphasis is on quick passing to enter the 'D', here I find many Indian players dribling and going solo," Sebastian said. 

The Dutch players said PHL was also a boon for budding Indian talents, who can get immense exposure here to make useful contribution for their team in future.

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