Sports reporter GUWAHATI, July 16 - Former Indian hockey team captain and three-time Olympian Dilip Tirkey said that to improve the standard of the Indian hockey team it will require quality coach and trainer.
Former Indian hockey team captain Dilip Tirkey (3rd from left) being felicitated at the India Club in Guwahati on Saturday. – AT Photo
Tirkey, who played over 400 international matches for India, was speaking in the Pulin Das Memorial Lecture at the India Club auditorium here today.
The function was organised by the Assam Sports Journalists Association where journalist Premadhar Sharma, India Club president Sankar Dutta Lahkar and director of Abhiruchi Institute of Physical Education Balendra Mohan Chakravorty also spoke on Pulin Das.
Tirkey said modern hockey is tremendously fast and the players must have superb fitness. For that reason the players have to be trained in such a way that all the players maintain absolute fitness to match the European teams.
“During the pre-independence period and till 1970s, India had been the super power of the world hockey. But gradually the format has changed and hockey became a technical game. The officials of the Indian Hockey Federation, now Hockey India, did not pay much attention during the crucial period and as a result, the technical aspects of the Indian hockey failed to keep pace with that of their European counterparts. Gradually India lost its hold in the world hockey and now struggling to regain the past form,” he said.
It will be not easy for the Indian team to win a medal in the ensuing Rio Olympics as the present team is hardly maintaining consistency in the international circuit, he said. He also revealed that the organisers have to work at the grassroots level in order to produce quality players.
On the new hockey captains, Tirkey said the change of guard does not have any significance. Sardar Singh, the men’s team captain and Ritu Rani, the women’s team captain were dropped as they were not doing well in the recent time, he said, adding, PR Sreejesh and Sushila Chanu are quality players and they are capable of leading the men’s and women’s teams respectively from the front.