They formed one of the most feared combinations upfront on the hockey field.
And when former India captains N. Mukesh Kumar and Dhanraj Pillay joined hands to dish out a few lessons for the 60-odd sub-junior boys and girls at a week-long residential complex in Gachibowli, it was an evening the young talent would remember for a long time to come.
“You play with passion and nothing else can match it. You can never be half-hearted in your approach.
“Just go out there, enjoy and give your best,” said the four-time Olympian Dhanraj Pillay, who came at the request of Mukesh, to teach the youngsters a few lessons of the game.
And, when he dribbled for a while to show some of the intricacies of dodging or essaying the scoop, the youngsters were quite naturally overawed.
“Mukesh and I formed a great combination. Mukesh was a great player,” Dhanraj Pillay told the trainees.
“You are all lucky to have this kind of facility (astro-turf) to play at such a young age. So, when opportunities come your way, make optimum use of that through hard work and commitment,” the former hockey star said.
Mukesh said separate camps for defenders and goalkeepers would be held and stars – Dilip Tirkey and Ashish Ballal – would be invited.