Bengaluru, Sep 11: India ace experienced goalkeeper PR Sreejesh feels that the Belgium tour from September 26 to October 3 will make the team sharp and ready for the Olympic Qualifiers to be held on November 1 and 2 in Bhubaneswar.
"I think playing the World Champions Belgium who have been in great form will be like a preparatory test before the actual exam. We have been working on an improved defensive structure, better PC defending and also on scoring opportunities and it will be important to execute this as planned against Belgium," stated Sreejesh.
Talking about India's goalkeeping options, he commended his younger compatriots Suraj Karkera and Krishan Pathak for a good show in the Olympic Test Event in Tokyo, Japan. "It's good to see both of them perform well. It is always good to have competition within the team and I am enjoying the role of mentoring them and at the same time improving my own game," he said.
"It is every player's dream to play the Olympics and Russia who are now investing in hockey and want to do well in this sport will surely come well-prepared and we can definitely expect a good challenge from them," stated Sreejesh. He further added that the draw which was live streamed did create some anxious moments as all the players watched it together.
"If we had to play Pakistan or Austria or for that matter Egypt who later dropped out. So in that sense, we were mentally prepared to take on any team. Also I think retaining the World Ranking at No 5 was a boon," he expressed. (UNI)