A chance to learn and improve, says Brasa


Entrusted with the unenviable task of reviving Indian hockey’s sagging fortune, the four-nation tour would be Brasa’s maiden assignment since taking over the coaching reins and the Spaniard made it clear that he was not expecting any miracle.

“It is a reality and we must accept that in the last few years India has achieved nothing. We are now 12th in world ranking and during the tour we are going to play all higher ranked teams. So, it will be a good learning experience,” Brasa told reporters ahead of the team’s departure for England.

“We have to learn modern hockey. We have to change things to be in the top. We want to be in the top four in the world,” he said.

Under Brasa, the team had a five-week training in Pune and the coach was optimistic that Sandeep Singh and his team-mates would pick up a few more tricks of the trade in the 12 Tests they are set to play in Europe.

“Just five weeks’ training is not a long time to prepare a team. We are going to Europe to learn and see which areas we need to work upon,” Brasa said.

According to him, the Indian players did not lack skills but they need to work on their basics.

“No doubt the Indian players are outstanding in top skills but they lack basics and we are working hard on things like man-to-man marking, trapping etc,” Brasa said.

Brasa admitted frontline goalkeeper Baljit Singh’s career-threatening eye injury during the training camp was a huge setback for the side.

“Till now he was the first goalkeeper but his injury was unfortunate. It is a big loss. But we have to overcome all the problems that come our way,” he said.

Asked about the presence of only one defender, Sandeep, in the 22-member team, Brasa said, “Nowadays, it’s about one goalkeeper and 10 field players. These days, everybody has to know how to defend as well as how to attack.”

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