KUALA LUMPUR, May 21 (Bernama) -- The Indian hockey team will use the
Sultan Azlan Shah Cup tournament from May 24 to June 3, as a part of their
preparation for the London Olympics in July.
Head coach, Michael Nobbs said the tournament would be the best ground for
him to choose outstanding players to represent India in the world''s biggest
sporting event held in London.
"We aim to finish among the best six teams in the Olympics and for this
year''s tournament, I''ve decided not to send the best squad that we have as I
have not made selection yet.
"I like to give everybody a chance to be selected in the (India) squad to
play in the Olympic games," he told reporters before their departure for Ipoh,
Perak with the Electric Train Service (ETS) at Kuala Lumpur Railway Station,
ETS is the official transport for the prestigious men''s hockey tournament.
SPORTS-HOCKEY (INDIA) 2 (LAST) KUALA LUMPUR
The 58-year-old coach from Australia said he does not want to set any
specific target for this year''s tournament because they were focusing on
preparing for the Olympics.
"We will try to win this tournament but our ultimate goal is still the
Olympic games as we can see most of the teams, qualified for the Olympic games,
are competing in this great tournament, including New Zealand and Great
Britain," he said.
Nobbs, who had played for Australia in the early 80''s as a centre-half in
midfield, also praised the Malaysian junior squad for their superb performance,
after clinching the Asian Junior Cup in Melaka for the first time.
"They (Malaysia) have good young players and a lot of them have the
capability to represent the country in the future," he said.
Indian captain Bharat Chetri said the tournament would give good exposure
for their young players due to the high level of competition expected in the
The 30-year-old captain, who plays as goalkeeper, also praised the tactical
strategies used by Nobbs'' since he was appointed as the Indian team''s
head coach last year.
Besides India who have won the tournament five times before - 1985, 1991,
1995, 2009 and 2010 - the annual tournament has also attracted Great Britain,
New Zealand, South Korea, Pakistan, Argentina and Malaysia as the host.
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