Hockey

Dilip Tirkey back in business

Dilip Tirkey. File photo

Dilip Tirkey. File photo   | Photo Credit: K_Murali Kumar

Back on the astro-turf, Dilip Tirkey feels like fish in water.

Two years after his retirement from all forms of hockey, the former India captain will now be seen in the role of a mentor to the defenders of the national side which enters the final phase of its preparation for the Olympic qualifier starting on Feb. 18.

Coincidentally, four years ago, Tirkey was one of the backline players of the Indian side that had lost to Great Britain 0-2 in the final of the Olympic qualifying event in Chile. That was the first time in 80 years when India could not make it to the Olympic Games.

“That was one of the saddest days of my life. I do not want to be reminded of that day,” said Tirkey, who joined the National team here on Thursday.

“Learning from the past, I will advise the team not to get overburdened and focus on the final. One should raise his performance without being overconfident.”

Tirkey, who was approached by chief coach Michael Nobbs to guide the defenders, said two weeks was too short to make major changes. “I can share a few tips, like not to commit oneself too early, closing down the gaps and organising the players according to situations”

The man with the experience of playing more than 400 internationals agreed with Nobbs' opinion that the one should avoid earning cards in crucial moments. “Good footwork and waist movement helps in this, but there is not much time to address these areas. We have to take care of some finer points,” he said.

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Printable version | Apr 6, 2020 8:38:00 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/hockey/dilip-tirkey-back-in-business/article2856027.ece

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