Van de Pol’s insights will definitely strengthen our team: Harmanpreet

The appointment of renowned goalkeeping coach Dennis van de Pol will help the Indian men’s hockey team immensely in strengthening the side ahead of its upcoming assignments, feels skipper Harmanpreet Singh. The Dutchman is scheduled to hold two special camps for the Indian team goalkeepers. Van de Pol’s first camp with the team will be from July 13 to 19. He will return to India to conduct another camp from September 7 to 14, days prior to the Hangzhou Asian Games.

“We have a talented and dedicated group of players who are ready to give their all and make our country proud. The upcoming challenges will only strengthen our resolve, and we are excited to embrace them head on,” he said. “It’s good for us that experienced goalkeeping coach Dennis van de Pol is going to hold the training camp for the team’s goalkeepers as his valuable insights and coaching skills will definitely strengthen our team,” Harmanpreet said in a Hockey India release on Monday.

The captain credited teamwork after finishing as the leading scorer in the recently-concluded 2022-23 FIH Hockey Pro League. Harmanpreet finished the competition as the tournament’s top scorer with 18 goals. The ace drag-flicker was also the tournament’s leading goal-scorer in the previous edition. Despite finishing fourth, the Indian team led the tournament in scoring, with 51 goals from 16 games.

Speaking about the same, Harmanpreet said, “I firmly believe that success in penalty-corner conversion is a team effort. While I may be the one taking the shots, it’s the collective hard work of the entire team that makes it possible.” “From the pushers to the stoppers and the flickers, each player plays a crucial role in creating the opportunity and executing the penalty corner flawlessly. This accomplishment is the result of the collective efforts of our team, the unwavering support of our fans, and the guidance of our coaching staff,” Harmanpreet said.

Meanwhile, Harmanpreet also talked about the team’s preparations for the 100th Anniversary Spanish Hockey Federation — International Tournament in Terrasa, Spain from July 25-30. India will be up against England, Netherlands, and hosts Spain in the four-nation tournament which will also act as the preparatory event for the Indian team ahead of the Asian Champions Trophy in Chennai.

“We have had a fantastic week of training, focusing on sharpening our skills and building our team cohesion. As we prepare to depart for Spain and participate in the upcoming four-nation tournament, which serves as a crucial preparatory event for the upcoming Asian Champions Trophy in Chennai, we are confident and eager to showcase our best performance,” Harmanpreet said.

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