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Important for team to first return to old form & fitness, feels Ramandeep

Bengaluru, Oct 1 Experienced hockey forward Ramandeep Singh has said he isn't too worried about not having international ...
Important for team to first return to old form & fitness, feels Ramandeep

Bengaluru, Oct 1 Experienced hockey forward Ramandeep Singh has said he isn't too worried about not having international competitions this year.

The Indian men's team last played in the FIH Pro League in January-February while the women's team has not played a match since the tour of New Zealand in January.

"I don't think I am too worried about not playing international matches this year. It is important we first return to our old form and fitness and once we reach that level, we can play internal matches," said Ramandeep, who was part of the Indian team during the Pro League.

"We are a group of 33 players who are all extremely competitive and our assessment will be based on how we are doing in the national camp. This automatically will motivate each one to bring out our best," he added.

The forward also expressed excitement about hockey activities resuming across India and he encouraged young players to ensure they follow all the norms and SOPs provided by Hockey India.

"It is great to see activities resume at the local level after so many months. Many young players send me messages sharing their excitement and also ask me about the things they need to keep in mind when they restart playing hockey after so long. The first and foremost thing everyone must ensure is that they are following the SOPs provided by Hockey India and state governments," expressed Ramandeep who is part of the ongoing national coaching camp at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) facility.

Ramandeep further stated that at the moment, the team is carrying out basic activities without stressing themselves. "...but starting October, our intensity will increase and I am confident we can hit max fitness soon."

The team is scheduled to restart it's Pro League campaign on April 10 and 11, 2021 with a tie against Argentina away from home. They will then play Great Britain away from home on May 8 and 9 before travelling to Spain where they play on May 12 and 13. After that, they will face Germany away on May 18 and 19 and will finally play a home tie on May 29 and 30 against New Zealand.

( With inputs from IANS )

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