Sports Reporter

Coimbatore: The Volleyball Federation of India has a big goal this year — to win a medal at the Asian Games in China this November.

“We are not looking at just winning a medal, we are eyeing something bigger,” said K. Murugan, Secretary-General, VFI. “And that's one reason why we are always trying to do something innovative that can benefit the team and players. We have already roped in a video analyst and a psychologist. All at the federation's expense,” said Murugan.

He said the team has a devoted head coach in G.E. Sridharan. “He understands the game and the team much better. We want him to further strengthen it before the Games. And that's why the VFI has decided to send him to Cairo for a ‘high-performance seminar' later this month.”

“Japan hosted a similar seminar three years back but we could not make it. So, this time we want to make the best use of it,” said Murugan.

Sridharan said: “Some of the best coaches in the game from the United States, Russia, Poland, Italy and other European and Asian countries will be present.

“ I can learn other new things as well, such as the use of two liberos and also how to squeeze the best out of players.”

He said the seminar would also open a new avenue for playing matches with Latin American and European teams. “We need to play at least 50 matches with the game's finest before the Asian Games if we want to win a medal,” he said.

For the record, India's last Asian Games medal came in 1986 in Seoul. “I was a member of that bronze medal-winning team,” said Sridharan, who later coached the Indian team in the 1998 Asian Games in Bangkok. “We managed just a seventh place. I want to carry forward the gold medal-winning touch of the Dhaka South Asian Games to the big event in China.”

He said the coaching camp for the team would be held at the Dr. Sivanthi Adithanar College in Tiruchendur from May 10. “And, that's when I plan to impart whatever I have learned during the seminar,” he added.

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