Indian National Hockey team head coach Roelant Oltmans has admitted that his team needs to improve on its goal scoring skills as they look to perform well in the World Hockey League semi-final.
The Indian team will face their toughest test of the season yet at the World Hockey League semi-final in London next month. India will be the hosts of the final of the competition which will be held in Bhubaneswar and thereby have already confirmed their place for the event in December.
While the team’s fitness and stamina has steadily followed an upward trajectory in recent times, they still had much work to do in some other aspects of the game such as ball control, possession and taking a shot at the goal. Speaking ahead of the team’s preparation for a thirty-day stay in Europe for two different tournaments, the Dutchman told Times of India that he has demanded improvement from his players in terms of their conversion inside the striking circle.
He said, “I am very happy with our ball possession and the goal scoring opportunities we have created, but I can’t say the same thing about the final conversion of chances. That is something that needs to be improved.”
Oltmans believes that the issue is more related to mentality and decision-making more than actual abilities. He added that, “We are now specifically working on decision-making once we have a goal-scoring opportunity. I believe scoring depends a lot on decision-making. They have to make the right decisions on when to take a shot at the goal; what is the position of the forward and which skill you need to use at that moment,” the coach pointed out.”
The World Hockey League semi-final will start from 15th June in London, England where India are pooled together in a group along with Pakistan, Canada, Scotland and Netherlands. Before playing in London, India will participate in a three nations invitational tournament in Dusseldorf, Germany where they will play two matches each with hosts Germany and Belgium.