KOLLAM: ‘The team played above expectations’. This was the initial reaction from Kerala Women’s Hockey team coach M V Simon, after his wards lost to Odisha the other day. According to him, the team is a naive one when compared with others as majority of them are college going students with not much experience.
“I was surprised with their performance. In the team, majority were college going students with not much experience and some were holding the hockey stick for the first time. Though we were on the losing side the match also gives good prospects as the defenders displayed exceptional performance throughout the match,” said M V Simon. He said that if the team got enough experience before hand they may have displayed even better performance than this. He also added that the authorities should take necessary actions to arrange state level competitions for the players to keep in touch with the game. ‘Once the Games gets completed, the girls will go back to their routine tasks and will lost touch of the game. If we aspire to mold a team like that of other states, then enough practice and state level competitions has to be provided. At the end what matters is pumping up of funds for the same,’ said Simon. The coach also shared his concern over the lack of secureness for the hockey players. According to him, some of the state players were forced to work as sales girls and telephone booth operators due to the laxity from the part of authorities in granting them good jobs. ‘I feared a drop out from the present team also as these girls finds no security in the hockey career. They may turn to professional courses or may get settled once their studies gets completed’, said him. Women’s team captain Soumya M also shared the same view. According to her, what puts herself in the team, even after her marriage, is the unflinching desire to play hockey.