Mumbai: Indian senior men’s hockey team captain PR Sreejesh will take charge as the goalkeeping mentor of the India Under-21 side from Thursday as the home team begins their Junior Hockey World Cup campaign against Canada, in Lucknow.
India are aiming to break their 15-year long title drought; the host nation last won the tournament in 2011.
In a recent interview given to Deccan Chronicle, Sreejesh had expressed the desire to take up coaching role sometime in the future.
The veteran goalkeeper will take over the charge of from South Africa’s Dave Staniforth, who was hired by Hockey India to mentor junior goalkeepers for a short three-week stint prior to the World Cup.
Mentoring role would give Sreejesh an opportunity to provide technical knowledge and valuable insights to Under-21 goalkeepers Vikas Dahiya and Krishan B Pathak.
"I have worked with the junior goalkeepers in Bangalore camp for sometime before going for a break. Dave (Staniforth) has been training the goalkeepers for the last 3 weeks. But from tomorrow onwards I will be in charge of the goalkeeping aspect," Sreejesh told PTI.
India junior team head coach Harendra Singh said Sreejesh’s presence will be of great help for the whole squad.
"Sree is currently one of the finest goalkeepers in the world. He is also a great motivator and fun loving guy. So his presence will be of great help," Harendra said.
Junior side’s No. 1 goalkeeper Vikas Dahiya, who also plays for the senior side is excited about the appointment.
"Sree bhai is a great goalkeeper and I have worked with him in the past as well. He is a fantastic jovial person to be with around. He always motivates and inspires everyone to bring out their best on the field," said Dahiya who is also a part of the senior side now....