Bengaluru: Defender Gurinder Singh feels India has been playing an aggressive brand of hockey under chief coach Graham Reid, and it has helped the team in creating more goal scoring opportunities.
India displayed an attacking brand of play in the FIH Hockey Pro League earlier this year and reaped rich rewards for it, beating Australia and world champions Belgium.
“It’s been over a year since chief coach Reid has joined us and I am sure one can see the difference he has brought to the side since April last year. We have become much more aggressive in our approach and therefore we are creating many more goal-scoring opportunities,” Gurinder said.
Gurinder said since his arrival Reid has been working closely with every player, besides emphasising on team tactics.
“It was amazing to see him shift focus from working on team tactics to the development of each and every player during the senior men national coaching camp in November last year,” he said.
“Since there was a lot of time to prepare for the next tournament after the Olympic Qualifiers, chief coach Reid spent time with all players and ensured that we improved on certain aspects during the camp,” he added.
Gurinder, who has been in and out of the team, said his immediate goal is to book a place in the Olympic-bound team.
“I am working extremely hard to book a place in the Indian team for the Olympics at the moment. Keeping myself fit is my number one priority during the lockdown period and I am carrying out some stickwork drills as well.”
“Playing for India at the Olympics has been a dream since childhood and hopefully, I will make it to the squad and contribute to India winning a medal at the quadrennial event,” he said.
Looking back at his career, Gurinder recalled the high of winning the junior World Cup in 2016 and finding his feet at the highest level.
“The junior World Cup in 2016 was a big turning point for me. My performances were noticed and eventually, I made my way to the senior team. I have gone through a lot of ups and downs since I made my senior team debut at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in 2017.”
“I have been part of the squad for big tournaments such as the Commonwealth Games in 2018, but I have missed out on a few competitions as well,” he said.
“It was great to return to the squad for FIH Hockey Pro League matches against Australia earlier this year. I have learned a lot about my game in the last three years and therefore I am in a good position to build on my skills and look to make a bigger impact in the future,” Gurinder added.