India combining Asian and European style hockey: Walsh
The Hague (Netherlands): A dismal ninth-place finish in the World Cup notwithstanding, Indian coach Terry Walsh chose to see the brighter side and said that the team is trying to mix the Asian and European styles of hockey that can be troublesome for the rivals.
"We`ve been mixing a bit of the Asian and European styles, but we are far from perfect. We have some way to go and we`re working on it," said Walsh.
"It`s a long-drawn process, but I am confident the signs of change will soon become evident," said Walsh, who went on to compliment captain Sardar Singh and the team members for trying to adapt the European style into their game.
"I take my hat off to these boys. They are trying to change, and are playing well," he said.
India defeated South Korea 3-0 in the playoff for the ninth position, dropping one spot from their eighth-place finish in the 2010 World Cup in New Delhi.
"In this match against South Korea, we played the second half very well and struck to our game-plan," said Walsh. "This is just the tip of the iceberg. Over a long period the system must develop players and it should have a large pool of players."
India`s ninth position is the highest among three Asian nations that qualified for the World Cup. South Korea finished 10th and Malaysia were placed at the bottom of the heap in the 12-nation tournament.
Walsh said the decline of Asian hockey was evident for over a decade. "Asian decline is not new, it`s been going on for a decade, and in some cases for two decades," Walsh said. "As for India, we`re trying to do something about it. The Indians are trying to compete against the top teams, not just to play on the same pitch."