AP Police Hockey Team’s Exposure Visit to ASV: A Learning Curve for Hockey Academy Players
Anantapur Sports Academy (ASA) Hockey teams have stepped up their training sessions as the competition season is well under way. With the junior teams having performed well in the recently concluded State Hockey Championship, the senior team started preparing for their competitions with a series of practice matches against the Andhra Pradesh (AP) Police Hockey team at the Anantapur Sports Village (ASV).
The AP Police Hockey team arrived at ASV in the evening of 26th October for a four day practice camp, along with a series of friendly matches with the ASV Academy senior hockey team. The next morning they were seen walking around the ASV campus getting familiar with the local conditions and building a rapport with the academy boys. Also, they keenly observed a practice session ofthe academy boys, for whom it would be the first time this season playing against a senior team.
The first of the three friendly matches was played in the evening of the 27th of October. Playing in home conditions, on a surface they regularly practice on, the ASV Academy team was expected to put up a good performance. This was reflected in the score line, as the ASV Academy won the match by 6-3, to provide them a confident start to the season ahead.
Suffering a jolt in the first game and in search of a win in the second, the AP Police team trained hard the next morning and was busy working on correcting the mistakes they made in the first game. They paid particular attention to the penalty corners and their passing, which according to their captain P. Santosh, was lacking in the first game. They completed the practice session with a long team discussion. Geared up looking for a win, the AP Police played the second game with plenty of motivation and in the right spirit, dominating proceedings and winning the match comfortably.
Right from the word go, they were on the attack and scored as many as 3 goals in the first half. The ASV Academy team pulled one back just before half time to make it 3-1, a score line that did not change for the remainder of the match. Though the ASV Academy team lost the match, they showed a competitive spirit throughout.
The third game was now nicely poised for the decider. Even though it was a friendly match, the attitude of the players in both the teams was like that of a final. There was some good stick tussle on view in the final game, as none of the teams was ready to give an inch of space to their opponents. Both the teams did their homework and it was visible by the way they were playing the match. After an enthralling and exciting game of 70 minutes, both teams has to settle for a 2-all draw.
The AP Police team captain P.Santosh was all praise for the ASV Academy team, saying “For us it was a tough match as they were good both on their defence and attack. It was a pleasure to play a quality team like this.”
The ASV Academy Hockey team will be going to Venkatgiri, Nellore this month to play the same opponents for another exposure trip, the dates of which are yet to be confirmed. They will be playing three to four matches there. The main purpose of the trip as Coach Lakshmi Narayan puts it “is to give them the opportunity to play more matches and understand match situations.
Also we want them to play on different surfaces and against different opponents in different environments. Developing their skill level by providing them plenty of exposure is our main purpose of arranging the trip”.