London Olympics: Coach Michael Nobbs happy with hockey team’s preparations

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first_imgThe Indian hockey team had a longish workout under a clear sky at the Riverbank arena on Wednesday evening.Doubts were raised over the fitness of two key players – Sardar Singh and Ignace Tirkey. However, watching them stretch, train and play a short game, they looked quite comfortable on the blue turf.To someone watching the new turf for the first time, the colour is a bit jarring on the eye. But most changes in the field of play these days are being done with television in mind. Even though the fluorescent green ball travelled quite fast, the dark pink border around the turf again hit the naked eye.Coach Michael Nobbs was quite relaxed after practice when he spoke to Mail Today. “You have seen the entire team at practice and train, so it’s clear there are no fitness issues,” said Nobbs.In his view, the best 12 teams on planet are playing the men’s hockey competition at the Olympics. “It doesn’t matter whether you are back in the Olympic fold after eight years. What matters is the top teams are here and have done so after proper qualification. And India is one of them,” said Nobbs.The Riverbank stadium is a temporary structure and very different from the Capital’s National Stadium. The entire seating is on a temporary steel structure and the view is good.Talking about the weather, Nobbs wished it gets as hot as possible. “That’s the weather which should suit our boys,” feels Nobbs.As regards predictions, Nobbs wasn’t willing to be drawn into a deep conversation. “The first match is against Holland and you know what kind of a record they have in the last three Olympics. Then you have Germany, so it can’t get any tougher,” he said.advertisement”The team has to believe in itself and we will see. There are still a few days to go,” said Nobbs, who became a hero after India won the Olympic qualifier earlier this year. Meanwhile, penalty corner specialist Sardar Singh was also happy. “The turf is now playing better and the bounce is more even. The mood in the Indian camp is good,” he added.last_img

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