Sreejsh, the captain of the senior Indian Hockey team has been working with the junior India team’s goalkeepers as their mentor for last three weeks since the junior national team was training at Sports Authority of India (SAI) complex in Bangalore.
The goalkeeper while speaking on Vikas from Lucknow on Friday, said: “Vikas has shown great courage and patience.
Once before, a couple of years ago He made outstanding saves in the tie-breaker to guide India to the victory in the junior Asian championship. He was outstanding today also.”
The 21-year-old goalkeeper was the hero in India’s historic semifinal win on Friday, making two brilliant saves in the tie-breaker as Indian team seems desperate to win the title, trying to end the 15-year drought in the tournament.
But what did Sreejesh say to his goalkeeper student on the match day?
Sreejesh replied: “I have been saying these words to the junior goalkeepers since I joined the camp three weeks ago.
"Even before that when I was my rehab for the recovery of my injured ankle at Bangalore SAI I used to talk to the junior goalkeepers there who were preparing for this junior World Cup at the same place.
"On Friday, before the match began, I said Vikas that do not commit during the time of opposition attack.
"Rather I told him to keep eyes sharply on the movement of the ball and then decide what to do. And I said the same words to Vikas also before the tie-breaker also. Vikas, keeping my suggestions in his mind has executed it superbly.”
Sreejesh was also pleased to have watched the performance of other boys also. He added, “The junior team showed great character.
"Otherwise it would not have been possible for them to fight back despite trailing by a goal. I can find several boys in this team who can get into the senior squad in near future.”