The Indian hockey workforce are being thought of as severe medal contenders and one of many prime causes for that’s the flamboyant Kerala custodian’s presence.
“He (Sreejesh) retains motivating me…he offers me confidence and likewise to the workforce. Actually, all of us have the arrogance that we now have Sreejesh in aim,” Manpreet mentioned through the digital media interplay of the Tokyo sure squad.
Whereas COVID-19 did rob them off high quality sport time within the final one yr save a tour of Argentina, Manpreet feels that the core squad being the identical for years is a bonus going into their greatest occasion.
“Really, within the final three-four years, we now have had the identical workforce. The strikers are skilled. They’ve been doing effectively, that is why they’ve been picked. Our striker line will play an vital function and rating objectives.”
For Manpreet, it’s his third Olympics and for a lot of others, it is the second tie on the quadrennial extravaganza that has enabled the workforce to gel so effectively.
“It’s my third Olympics. An incredible honour if you find yourself representing your nation on the Olympics. Additionally I’m actually excited, as a captain. We’ve an skilled aspect with the likes of Harmanpreet (Singh), Birendra Lakra, Rupinderpal, and so forth..We’re all excited for the Olympics,” he added.
The Covid-19 enforced break did not dampen their spirits though the Olympics was postponed final yr.
“Our performances in the previous few years have been good. Originally of 2020 we have been enjoying effectively, we beat good groups. Sadly, COVID-19 occurred, there was a lockdown and we have been in Bengaluru.
“We have been coaching (in Bengaluru) and the Olympics received cancelled. We determined that we now have to take it positively. The way to work on our sport and maintain enhancing…,” Manpreet mentioned.
Birendra Lakra, who missed out on the Rio Olympics, was excited in regards to the upcoming Tokyo Video games and could be very pleased with the form of camaraderie that the workforce shared.
“Yeah.. I missed the final Olympics because of an damage. I used to be given an opportunity in a six-nation match in Spain forward of the Rio (Olympics) however I used to be not as match as I ought to have been.
“After that I labored laborious to make a comeback. From the teaching employees to teammates, everybody helped me. They ensured that I don’t really feel left alone. It took time for me to work my method again.”
Being one of many vice-captains, different being Harmanpreet Singh, Lakra is able to shoulder extra accountability as a senior participant.
“There may be a number of accountability. Senior gamers are there… There are skilled gamers additionally. Within the final Olympics additionally, the workforce’s efficiency was good. You’ll have seen within the final one yr and extra, the (workforce’s) performances have been good.
“Resulting from COVID there was a disturbance, nonetheless, we now have educated in Bengaluru. Gamers have stored themselves motivated although we now have not been capable of play many matches as a result of Covid restrictions,” he added.
Defender Harmanpreet, who might be that includes in his second Olympics, mentioned there could be better accountability now as deputy to Manpreet, including that he had learnt quite a bit and the understanding was higher.
“In 2016, there was not a lot stress as a result of I used to be a younger participant. There have been skilled gamers…I learnt from them.Now, I’m skilled, there are tasks now and the understanding is best.”
To a query on the potential benefit Asian groups may have in Tokyo with regard to climate circumstances, he mentioned the workforce was coaching preserving that in thoughts.
“We’re practising within the afternoons. We’re coaching preserving in thoughts the climate circumstances and the depth wanted.”