Dhanraj Pillay puts India on par with other top hockey playing nations

Image Courtesy: India Today

Indian hockey legend and four-time Olympian Dhanraj Pillay is confident of the national team’s qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and has also stated that the side is currently on par with other top hockey playing nations.

Image Courtesy: India Today

The FIH Hockey Olympic qualifiers is scheduled to begin from September 9 in Lausanne, Switzerland. It will involve a total of 14 teams each in both men’s and women’s.

Talking to reporters on Thursday, Pillay said that the current national side is on par with some of the top hockey playing nations like Australia and Germany. He also stated that the side would make it to the Olympics next year.

“Right now, we (India) are at par with Australia, Germany, Holland, Argentina, Belgium and so they (the team) should not be scared to face any team and move ahead with full confidence.” 

“It is very important that first we qualify for the Olympics. It is not only my dream but that of the entire hockey fraternity that Olympics medal should come to India because the last was in 1980 Games. After that we have struggled to get a medal in the Olympics,” he said.

Pillay also praised the current Indian coach Graham Reid for his efforts with the side.  

“The way the team is performing and playing right now, I am confident that they will qualify for the Olympics and after that their (real) works starts because Olympics is a different ball game and you can’t take even one match lightly. Points are important in every match and you will be playing 5-6 (teams) in alternate days.” 

“As of now, he (Reid) is doing a good job. His job is to coach and he is doing the job earnestly,” he concluded.

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