The format of the World Series Hockey is a platform for the young and the seniors

For Edwards Alloysius, the 1996 Atlanta Olympics Indian goalkeeper, the on-going World Series Hockey has been a truly “memorable experience”. This Hyderabadi is the manager of Sher-e-Punjab which is currently leading the points table and is widely tipped as one of the favourites to clinch the trophy also.

“This WSH is really nice. We meet so many players and coaches from abroad and are bound to get different ideas about the game,” says the Punjab & Sind Bank Manager in a chat with The Hindu.

“It would have been much better if many of the current Indian players were also to play but again this WSH is not intended to disturb the fabric of Indian hockey. It is aimed at giving a platform for the young talent which failed to get a chance to play for India and otherwise would not have got a chance to showcase their skills,” explains Alloysius.

“Probably, the dream to be an Olympian has held back many of the Indian team members from playing in this. But, I am confident, this will be a bigger succces in the days to come,” he adds.

“WSH is a wonderful concept and we all sincerely hope that the officials who matter realise this as early as possible and contribute to the growth of hockey in a more positive manner,” he feels.

Alloysius is surprised that the goalkeepers in general have struggled in this WSH so far. “Probably, they are reserving their best for the knock-out phase. But they have to improve a lot if their early form is any indication,” says the veteran goalkeeper.

About his own team, Alloysius feels it was a wonderful experience to be with coach Rajinder Singh, and also share a few thoughts with the team.

“The format is really exciting, facilitating even ageing players to chip in 15 minutes of action and go back to the bench. Perhaps, a gap of two days between matches would have been ideal,” he feels after the WSH had already featured 250 goals from 48 matches so far. “Travelling a lot also meant being injury-prone. Yet, the players are really enjoying it because the teams have a pool of 25 players each, giving a scope for rotation policy. And, there is lot at stake - not just money (the winner getting Rs 4 crores, the runner-up Rs 2 crores and losing semi-finalists Rs 1 crore each),” says Alloysius.

“It saddens me that Hyderabad is not figuring in the WSH despite so much talent and world class facilities. The only one - goalkeeper Santosh of Chennai Cheetahs - looked very good against us” laments Alloysius.