Goalkeepers are like wine: PR Sreejesh

NEW DELHI: India hockey star PR Sreejesh He feels that the goalkeepers are like the wine that becomes tastier if it stays longer, which reflects his illustrious career from warming the bank to becoming one of the best in the world.

Sreejesh, a former captain, said setbacks in the first part of his career taught him lessons to take failures as steps to success.

The first few years were quite hard for me. It took time for me to understand what exactly is international hockey. With time the game has changed, the game has gotten faster, so every tournament teaches you something, Sreejesh told PTI in an interview.

When I started my career, I used to concede many goals, but still everyone had faith in me, they motivated me. The best part of a goalkeeper is that when you are the second option, you get a lot of experience sitting outside and watching. I am very grateful to my elders for their advice and suggestions, he said.

And this is where I am today after overcoming all obstacles. The porters are like wine, the longer you keep it, the better it tastes.

At 33, Sreejesh is in the twilight of his career, but Kerala's slender custodian has not yet planned anything about his future.

I am still not planning anything because now it is more important to focus on the Olympic Games and after that how the circumstances will be, we do not know. Therefore, these are short-term objectives, he said, when asked about his retirement. plans after the Olympic Games.

For me, the next approach is the FIH Pro League, where we are going to face many difficult opponents. When it comes to a higher ranking player, you must keep short goals all the time to fine-tune and perform at your best, Sreejesh said. additional.

The former captain feels that the country has left behind the poor patch of 2008-2012 and predicted a much better show at the Tokyo Games than any of the last Olympic Games.

India could not qualify for the 2008 Olympic Games and four years later, the team finished last at the London Games. In the 2016 Rio Olympics, India retired in the quarterfinals.

If you take it from 2008 till 2016, the low point for Indian hockey was 2008 when we failed to qualify. In 2012, we finished last, and in 2016 we finished eighth. I feel this time we will improve and prove ourselves.

India qualified for the Tokyo Olympics after beating Russia 11-3 in the aggregate in Bhubaneswar on Saturday, and Sreejesh, considered one of the best goalkeepers in the world, is expected to achieve the Indian goal in Tokyo.

It's a great thing for us that we are going to Tokyo. After every tournament we analyze ourselves and in this tournament we got a very good lesson that we can't underestimate any team, said Sreejesh, known as the 'wall of Indian hockey '.

After opting for its first season last year, India will debut in the FIH Pro League against the Netherlands in a home game on January 18 and 19.

The Pro League includes nine teams in men's and women's sections, each playing at home and away from home on a two-year calendar.

India will organize its first six games. After facing the Dutch, they will face Belgium from February 8 to 9, followed by matches against the defending champions and the No. 1 World Cup in Australia from February 22 to 23.

In Pro League and the Olympics, our opponents will be much better and difficult. They will play more attacking hockey.