Goalkeeper Adrian D'Souza hopes to make India comeback through HIL
Seasoned but sidelined goalkeeper Adrian D'Souza has targeted the upcoming Hockey India League (HIL) to make a big impression and storm his way back into the national team after three years.
Mumbai: Seasoned but sidelined goalkeeper Adrian D'Souza has targeted the upcoming Hockey India League (HIL) to make a big impression and storm his way back into the national team after three years.
"You have seen quite a few players making a comeback through the Hockey India League which is a good platform. I am keen to use it (to make my comeback)," said D'Souza after the first training session of new team Dabang Mumbai here on Friday.
Dabang Mumbai, owned by Doit Sports Management, will be making its debut in the six-team tournament, that runs from January 22 to February 22, at the Mahindra Stadium against Jaypee Punjab Warriors on January 23.
D'Souza, who has appeared for India in several major events, including the Olympic Games and World Cups, last donned the national colours at the Sultan Azlan Shah tournament in Ipoh, Malaysia in 2011.
The 30-year-old custodian, with over 100 India caps to his credit, was ignored by the HI after he played in the defunct World Series Hockey promoted by HI's rival Indian Hockey Federation.
"It definitely feels good to be playing in HIL after being part of the television commentary team last year. I am also happy to be playing for my home city team. Barring a few players we have a totally new team. My personal aim is to do as well as I can and help my team," said D'Souza.
D'Souza, who had served a one-year ban for violating an anti-doping rule in June 2012, felt that most teams have improved their defence against penalty corners which in turn has helped in cutting down goals through these set-pieces.
"Most teams depend on one drag-flicker. Video analysis of the way they take the penalty corners and improved defence against penalty corners has helped," said D'Souza about the decreasing number of penalty corner goals.
He would be competing with Ireland's David Harte for donning the goalie's role for Dabang Mumbai which is to be coached by Germany's junior national in-chaarge, Valentin Altenburg.