Felix hopes to bring back 'forgotten skills'

New coach Jude Felix wants to re-introduce forgotten skills to the men’s hockey team which is preparing for the World Cup at the Major Dhyan Chand National stadium here

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Felix was named the new addition to the coaching staff of the Indian team on Wednesday and he was impressed with the detailing that had gone in preparing the boys for the event. “The boys looked really sharp. Unlike the past teams, a lot of detail has been put into this side. Everything is planned. There are clippings, videos, video-analysis, graphics which are being shown to the players,” Felix said after his first day at the camp on Thursday.

The Olympian himself has an impressive international coaching experience with club sides and was confident of gelling into the system which has Australian Terry Walsh as chief coach and M K Kaushik, a former India player, also as coach.

“Having played the game, I am aware that there are some of the skills that still prevail. For example, reverse flick, which the guys practiced today. It is almost a forgotten skill. Terry mentioned we learnt it from India and now we are teaching them back. My role will be to demonstrate such skills to them besides bringing in professionalism during training,” he said.

“My experience in coaching is also there, so handling this big bunch won’t be a problem. Kaushik is there to help. As for Terry, I am here to learn from him as well.
He has an in depth knowledge of the game. I had the opportunity to play against him in the 1985 Champions Trophy in Perth. I was quite young then but I remember him scoring some brilliant goals. He is very professional.”

Felix felt the team needed to work on their man-to-man marking. “One of the areas we need to work on is man-to-man marking. We tend to get caught in, we need to know how to free ourselves, when to release a player, on one-two passes. Also we need to bring fluency in movements on any part of the pitch, even when we are attacking or defending. We will be working on individual skills as well.”

Meanwhile, goalkeeper P R Sreejesh hoped his team would finish in the top six. “We are working hard. We have European Tour also coming up. The focus will be on giving exposure to the youngsters.”

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