Melbourne: The Indian men's hockey team concluded its training-cum-practice camp at Murwillambah, New South Wales, on Thursday. The team will fly to Sydney to join the Indian Olympic contingent on Friday.
In their last practice match, the Indians trounced local outfit Tweed Shire XI 12-0 in a match played at the Indian team's practice turf at Murwillambah on Wednesday night.
"It was a totally one-sided game and, as per our strategy, we did not take the local team lightly. Our boys capitalised on every opportunity which came their way," Indian team manager K Jothi Kumaran told India Abroad News Service over the phone from Murwillambah on Thursday.
The highlight of the match was a hat-trick by forward Deepak Thakur, while veteran Dhanraj Pillay and forward Gagan Ajit Singh scored three goals each. Baljit Singh Dhillon contributed two goals, while penalty corner expert Dilip Trikey accounted for the last goal.
In the previous practice match against a Gold Coast XI on Monday, the Indian team had registered a 10-0 victory. Dhanraj Pillay was the star of that match as he banged in four goals. Deepak Thakur also gave a good display and scored thrice.
On Monday, the Tweed Shire community organised a reception for the Indian team at Murwillambah. "The Shire mayor offered us best wishes for the Olympics in a touching function as Murwillambah has become a second home for our team," Mr Jothi Kumaran said.
The Indian team had its last training session at Murwillambah on Thursday. "We also held a team meeting after the training and the boys were appreciated for their hard work. We resolved to give our best in the Olympic tournament," the Indian manager added.
India will play Canada in a practice match on September 13. India will kick off the Olympic campaign against Argentina on September 17.
India Abroad News Service