Raghunath: India will regain lost glory

Updated: Dec 03, 2016, 12:37 IST | Ashwin Ferro

Drag-flicker Raghunath says Indian hockey will be among Top 3 within the next two years under the able management of Oltmans and Van Gent

India’s drag-flicker V Raghunath. pic/getty images
India’s drag-flicker V Raghunath. Pic/Getty images

India hockey drag-flicker V Raghunath landed in the country after a four-nation tourney followed by a two-match series in Australia, late on Thursday last night. But such is his passion for the game that he flew into Mumbai yesterday and turned up for Indian Oil in a Bombay Gold Cup fixture against Central Railway at the MHAL-Mahindra Stadium. He scored a brace in his team’s 4-2 victory.

“I’m among the team’s senior players and the boys love when I come and play with them, so I always try and make it whenever I have time off,” the 28-year-old defender told mid-day yesterday.

Raghunath essays a similar role with Team India too, and vouches for the thriving system under Roelant Oltmans and Roger Van Gent. “It takes six to eight years to make a good team, and Oltmans has been with us for around four years. He has a plan and has set up a professional and systematic path to achieve it. 

“Until a few years ago, Indian hockey was ranked around the No. 10 mark, today we are consistently at No. 6 and I’m sure in the next two years we will rise to be among the top three,” added Raghunath.

Personally, Raghunath realises that at 28, the demands of modern hockey do not offer him a long rope. So he’s not even thinking about the 2020 Tokyo Games. But there is one short-term goal. “The 2018 World Cup is in India, and I’m looking forward to a good show both by myself as well as by our team. I believe Indian hockey will regain it’s lost glory days,” he concluded

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