Newly-appointed analytical coach Hans Streeder wants the Indian men’s hockey side to work on its defensive structure, which in turn can bolster any team’s attacking capability.
“I would like to see the team improve upon their defence structure. You can only attack freely when you know your defence is covered,” the the 58-year-old Dutchman said at the Sports Authority of India centre here, where a group of 33 core probables are training ahead of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup starting next month.
While the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in April is an important tournament for last year’s runners-up India, Streeder and chief Coach Roelant Oltmans has set their sights on the Asia Cup in Bangladesh and Hockey World League Final in Bhubaneswar later this year.
Streeder feels one of the key challenges for an analytical coach is to keep the sessions fresh.
“It is important to stay fresh in doing what you do on pitch. Drills need to be fresh but not too difficult so the players can be excited and upbeat about it. The structure needs to be clear for them to execute well. But since I have worked with Roelant (Oltmans) in the past I know exactly what he expects from me so it becomes easier,” he said.
India is not new to Streeder as he has worked briefly with former coach Michael Nobbs when the Indian team visited Rotterdam.
Streeder was also part of the Hockey India League franchise Uttar Pradesh Wizards as their analytical coach for three years since the inaugural edition.
“I’ve seen a lot of these players closely. They are a very skillful and excited bunch,” said Streeder, who joined the national camp on March 14.
Before joining India, Streeder was with the Netherlands junior squad and has closely watched and analysed the junior Indian team that lifted the junior World Cup in December last year.
“I was on the video tower for every single match and I have watched these boys closely. The 11 players from that team who are in the camp here are very talented, no doubt, but I would like them to work in a new structure, understand what’s expected of them from every session and execute it,” he said.
“Whether they are junior or seniors it doesn’t matter as long as they play in the structure planned and created for them,” Streeder asserted.