Former Australian forward Kieran Govers has joined the national camp in Bengaluru to help the Indian men’s hockey team strikers prepare for the 2020 Olympic Qualifiers.
Govers, who was a part of the Australian team that won the Men’s World Cup in 2010 and 2014, arrived in Bengaluru on Monday for a eight-day special camp for strikers at the Sports Authority of India Centre.
“I am truly excited to return to India. I have some really fond memories of playing in this hockey-crazy country,” said Govers.
“I have been following the Indian team’s progress very closely and I believe they have great potential. In the next few days I will be working with the forwards to see how we can improve their efficiency inside the circle and when the opponents’ marking is tight how can we convert,” he added.
Govers said he would help the Indian strikers improve their conversion rate.
“We will also be doing some video analysis from the recent Sultan Azlan Shah Cup to dissect where the strikers could have done better. The whole idea is to help improve the conversion rate,” said the 31-year-old NSW star striker.
India’s veteran striker SV Sunil said that having Govers ahead of the Indian team’s campaign at the FIH Men’s Series Finals Bhubaneswar was helpful. “His experience will immensely help our forwards. He was one of the best strikers for Australia and he is extremely good in pressing, goal scoring and positioning inside the circle.
“These are the areas our team needs improvement and there are many good things we can learn from him.”
The players who will be working closely with Govers during the national camp include Akashdeep Singh, Ramandeep Singh, SV Sunil, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Simranjeet Singh, Gurjant Singh, Mandeep Singh, Sumit Kumar, Shamsher Singh, Armaan Qureshi, Abharan Sudev Belimagga, Mohd Raheel Mouseen, Harsahib Singh, Dilpreet Singh, Gursahibjit Singh, Shilanand Lakra and Atif Ateeq.
On inviting an experienced striker like Govers to work with the Indian forwards, David John, Hockey India’s High Performance Director said, “It is good for our strikers to use the experience of Kieran Govers. He has played against most of the Indian players and understands their short-comings well. Our players relate to him and since he is still their contemporary, I am sure the sessions will be more interactive, exciting and fast-paced. Govers was part of the Australian leadership group and I believe his stint with the team will help in our preparations of the FIH Men’s Series Finals Bhubaneswar Odisha 2019.”