The Hague (netherlands):Indian hockey seems a work in progress, feels Dutch legend Floris Jan Bovelander who wants the erstwhile champions of the game to re-assert their right among the new elite nations.
"There is change evident in the Indian team, they were unlucky to lose a couple of games to late goals and that derailed them at the start of the World Cup," said Jan, whose proficiency with the penalty corner helped Netherlands clinch gold in the 1990 World Cup against Pakistan and the 1996 Olympic Games.He retired from international hockey after the Atlanta Olympic final.
Bovelander feels talent in India, as in any other country, can be nurtured through a programme that will provide a feeder system for successive national teams.
Bovelander feels talent in India can be nurtured through a programme that will provide a feeder system for successive national teams. (Getty Images)
"Every country needs a proper talent-nurturing programme and India is no different," said the ex-Dutch star, who was renowned for his penalty corner.
"Where India can have an advantage is the number of players across the vast country. From such huge number the talent is bound to emerge in abundance,it is time for India to assert their position in world hockey, but it could take some time." said Bovelander
One of the sport's greatest all-time penalty corner executioners, floris is now involved with a coaching platform called 'Hockey Factory' and also another company called 'Bovelander and Bovelander' that organises hockey camps for young players.
Bovelander is also the brand ambassador for the inaugural World Beach Hockey Cup that started here today.Watching hockey, Bovelander continues to look out for what's happening around penalty corners at major events.
In the current World Cup, the penalty corner conversion ratio has not been very impressive. Bovelander, however, feels the proportion would always stay around one conversion out of three corners.