Even before the Indian hockey team for the Junior World Cup was announced, there was one thing that was taken for granted and constantly worked upon by the coaching staff led by South African Greg Clarke – to use drag flicker Gurjinder Singh as a surprise weapon.
One man who has been working single-mindedly with Gurjinder is video analyst Dhananjay B Mahadik, a former drag flicker himself. Mahadik is working closely with goalkeeping coach and former South Africa player Dave Staniforth. Talking to dna on the sidelines of the Indian team’s training session, Mahadik disclosed that a special software has been developed in the last few days to help Gurjinder and vice-captain Amit Rohidas improve short corner conversions during the December 6 to 15 event.
“There is no doubt that Gurjinder is the key to all our plans in the tournament. You can call him our trump card and our success will largely depend around his performance,” said Mahadik. Both Gurjinder and Rohidas are being taught to use their drag flick variations according to the opponent goalkeepers’ standing position. Video recordings of Holland, England, German and Malaysian teams have been procured to make them understand it better.
Gurjinder is equally determined to make a winning start in this tournament. “We have a clear mandate to take each match as it comes and the target as of today is to have a winning start against Holland (on Friday). We are capable of doing it as we have players like Manpreet Singh and Ramandeep Singh,” said Gurjinder. Rohidas exuded confidence about the Dutch challenge.