Hockey India reviews Azlan Shah performance

HI secretary general Narinder Batra, the coaching and development committee led by Pargat Singh, coach Harendra Singh and his support staff, selectors, former players and HI officials were present at the meeting.

Selector Balbir Singh, who was also the manager for the Azlan Shah tournament where India finished sixth, has pointed out poor fitness as one of the major reasons behind the team's showing.

"The fitness level of our players were not at par with other teams. It made a major difference," Balbir said.

Asked why the selection committee did not gauge the fitness of the players in the trials, Balbir Singh said: "It is difficult to make out from trials. Our team played well in the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games. It is while seeing them play in Azlan Shah, I could make out that they can't last the entire match. The four-month gap after the Asian Games has not been good for the players. I can't say how their fitness has dropped and that is something for the physical trainer to answer."

Pargat Singh said that all the stakeholders of Indian hockey need to put on a combined effort.

"The fact that the team is not performing well means that something is lacking. Everyone has to work together and perform their roles whether it is the government, HI, coaches, or the players. Proper implementation of the development programmes are required to improve the sport," he added.

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