Indian men's hockey head coach Graham Reid has said that he is satisfied with the team's level despite the long break due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Indian men's team had been training at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) national camp in Bengaluru since March.
As the Olympic preparations got hampered by the widespread virus, the Indian hockey men's team didn't get to play any competitive matches since February. They last played against Australia in FIH Pro League and won by a penalty shootout.
Hopeful of playing international matches next year, Graham expressed in a statement released by Hockey India that the upcoming international fixtures for the team will indicate the areas they needed to work on.
"We have planned for matches from early in the next year. These matches will ideally show us the level we are truly at and the areas that will require work on leading into the Olympic Games,” he said.
We have done everything possible to maintain our level: Graham Reid
The training camp, which resumed in August after a break, lasted for four months in a bio-secure environment at the SAI National Center, Bengaluru. Expressing his satisfaction with the progress that the probable group attained, Graham Reid said:
“We have done everything possible to maintain and more recently got the players back to the level they will need to be to compete on the world stage.”
Graham Reid heaped praise on the side for achieving their pre-COVID level and said that the fitness tests have been satisfactory. He believes that the Indian team is ready to compete on the world stage.
“Our fitness tests in the strength, weight, speed and muscle components show that we are on target. Our training sessions output data are approaching our February figures. I believe we are close to the level we showcase in our international matches," said Graham Reid.
The Indian team is scheduled to resume its FIH Pro League campaign with an away tie against Argentina in April next year. However, the 55-year-old Graham Reid has remained hopeful of arranging a tour ahead of that.