India: ‘We are finding new Indian way to do things’- Men’s hockey coach Craig Fulton

The Indian men’s hockey team is finding a new Indian way to do things in a better way, chief coach Craig Fulton said on Friday.

The coach also mentioned that the appointment of mental conditioning expert Paddy Upton would help the side find their voice.

“Paddy is keeping an eye on the team training in the gym and has taken individual sessions this week. He also addressed the team. He will help identify a new Indian way of how we can do things better than we have done them up till this point,” Fulton told media in a virtual interaction.

When asked about what is the new Indian way, Fulton explained,” It’s a discovery phase; we are on a real trajectory. The work previously done by Graham put the team on the map with consistent performance with one or two disappointments on the way.”

“Now we are trying to keep that trajectory, but then how do we improve what has already been done, and that starts individually before it goes collectively,” he added further.

India head to Europe later this month, where they will play against England and the Netherlands and hosts Spain in the four-nation tournament, followed by Asian Champions Trophy in Chennai.

These two events will serve as a preparatory tournament for the Hangzhou Asian Games, where the champion side will automatically qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

“The ideal goal is always to win tournaments. The realistic goal is to see where you are ranked and how far away you are from the top teams. We are one of the top teams, if not the top team,” Fulton said.

The South African said that the team is working on playing fluently upfront.

“We want to get better the way we are trying to play fluid upfront, but we are constantly working on our connections going forward to score goals. How we delay and defend to constantly attack,” he explained.

To work with all the senior players, Fulton has called up several players who were not part of the Pro League squad for the upcoming Spain tour.

“I didn’t get a chance to work with all the players in the pro league, so by picking them for this tour w,e get to look at the other players that are there. That way, we would have seen everyone. It will be a good exposure point to get back into competition,” he concluded.

After playing the four-nation tournament in Spain, the Indian team will rush back to Chennai to compete in Asian Champions Trophy.

By The Bridge

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