Sreejesh says winning medal is more special than awards

Written by: Sujata Sarkar
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Bengaluru, Nov 14: P.R Sreejesh has become the third Indian hockey player after Dilip Tirkey and Sardar Singh to have been nominated for an FIH award.

Despite being elated with the nomination, Sreejesh still seems nostalgic on India’s medal-winning performance in the Champions Trophy this year after a span of 32 years.

PR Sreejesh (centre)

The 28-year old custodian and captain of current Indian team said on Sunday over the phone from Bangalore, “Earning silver in the Champions Trophy under my captaincy for the first time after a span of 32 years was simply amazing for me.

"More importantly, Sardar and Rupinder Pal Singh were also not in the team. Rather a few inexperienced junior players toured to London.

"Whereas the other participating teams in that Champions Trophy played with full strength. But despite the situation we won silver. And it was a truly great achievement for me.”

Sreejesh gave thanks to Hockey India for sending his name to the FIH nominations and said: “It has been a great honour for me to get into the nomination along with four more top goalkeepers.

"I do not know whether I will be finally chosen the best goalkeeper this year. But I get more excited and happy with the success of Indian team. The medal has been always my pride.”

The Indian captain, who has been rested for the four-nation championship due to ankle injury, he sustained in the Asian Champions Trophy tournament, informed he has now been doing rehab in Bangalore SAI center and also giving suggestions to the goalkeepers of junior Indian team.

Asked on the inclusion of several junior players in the senior team, Sreejesh clarified: “It is a cycle that began moving sometimes back in 2009.

"The reflection was first vivid in 2014 Incheon Asian Games where we won gold. Then it is rolling. And after 2020 Olympics everybody will be able to understand that the cycle has stopped as a new Indian senior team comprising junior players mostly, has come in shape.”

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