Former India goalkeeper Adrian D'Souza tells Arjun Halappa that the duo can work their way back into the Indian team for the London Games with a good showing at World Series Hockey
Former India captain Arjun Halappa yesterday received comforting words from his ex-teammate and India custodian Adrian D'Souza. On Monday, Halappa, who has donned the Indian jersey for over a decade, threatened to hang up his hockey stick after he was left on the stand-by list for the Olympic Qualifiers (February 18 to 26) to be played at New Delhi's Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium. Coach Michael Nobbs said the team was picked "purely on performance and not reputation."
D'Souza, who has manned the bar for India since 2003 and has known Halappa ever since, also does not find himself in Nobbs' scheme of things. However, not one to give up, the goalkeeper is eager to claw his way back into the team on the basis of the very criteria suggested by coach Nobbs -- performance. And that's the advise he has for Halappa too.
Need to focus
"Arjun will not make any hasty decision here and must not walk away in a hurry. Highs and lows are part of every sportsman's life. And the best we can do is focus on our next assignment at hand and do our best in it and then hope for a national call-up," D'Souza told MiD DAY yesterday.
D'Souza, in fact, saw a silver lining amidst the cloud, for both Halappa and himself. "The World Series Hockey is coming up immediately after the qualifiers. If Arjun and myself can put up a good performance against the cr me de la cr me of world hockey, there is no reason why coach Nobbs should not pick us, since performance is the key word in his scheme of things anyway," added D'Souza, who with Halappa will be leading two of the eight franchises (Mumbai Marines & Karnataka Lions respectively) at the inaugural franchise-based WSH (February 29-April 2) wherein eight teams will battle it out for a multi-million dollar prize.