World-class facilities, stadiums make a big difference, says Akashdeep Singh

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ANTWERP - 2019 Test Matches: India Belgium v India Photo: Akashdeep Singh WORLDSPORTPICS COPYRIGHT FRANK UIJLENBROEK

Bengaluru: The Indian men’s hockey team has achieved tremendous success since last year. They won the FIH Men’s Series Finals and booked a place in the Tokyo Olympics through the FIH Olympic Qualifiers last year.

The national side also competed well against top sides such as Belgium, Netherlands and Australia in the FIH Pro League earlier this year. Forward Akashdeep Singh expressed that world-class facilities and stadiums make a big difference to a teams’ performance.

“We have certainly worked hard to record good wins in the recent past, however, we wouldn’t have been able to raise our game without the world-class facilities and stadiums provided to us by Hockey India and Sports Authority of India. Practising on a good turf with all the necessary facilities has helped us hone our techniques and become much better players and as a result, we have performed well consistently in the last few years,” said the forward.

Akashdeep added that spotting and nurturing of talent across the country has certainly been a big boost for the national side. “We have had some young talents such as Rajkumar Pal and Vivek Sagar Prasad join our team in the last few years. Our team has a great balance of experienced players and new talents, which is the perfect blend for being successful in competitions.

“I would certainly like to give a lot of credit to Hockey India for the way they have spotted talent through domestic competitions and nurtured them further so that they are in a position to perform for their country,” said the 25-year-old.

The forward expressed that the Indian team is determined to become Olympic medallists in Tokyo next year. “Our team has done well against top sides in the recent past and therefore we are confident that we can win a medal for India at the Olympics. We just have to focus on our processes and then the desired results will follow. All our bases are covered and we are determined to make history in Tokyo. It’s about going on the pitch with belief and we will be able to achieve anything,” said Akashdeep.

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