Saturday, December 24, 2011

KNOW THE SAVIOURS OF YOUR GOALPOST

Bharat Chetri
Caps : 129
Born : Darjeeling 

Bharat Chetri is one of the most fabulous goalkeepers of recent times. Born in a family of 5 sons and brought up in an atmosphere dedicated to Indian Army, Chetri learnt the basics of hockey at the Danapur Army School before joining SAI’s Centre of Excellence, Bangalore, in 1998.
Chetri was as adjudged best goalkeeper at the 1997 Junior Nationals before making his senior debut in the Dhaka Prime Minister Gold Cup in 2001. By then he had the experience of playing in the 2000 Junior Asia Cup, 2000 Pozan Jr. Challenge, 2001 Akher el Yom Cup and the 2001 Samaranch Cup.
Chetri was deputy to Devesh Chauan at the 2001 World Cup in Hobart, Australia, and did exceedingly well in that series. It has been a game of musical chairs for goalkeeper's position in the Indian team. But the Darjeeling boy has the intrinsic faith in his ability and the will to fight back when chips are down. Every national coach has picked and discarded him after a year or so. He was out of the team in 2004, 2007 and 2009, but never lost faith.
Bharat Chetri is the comeback man of Indian hockey. The goalkeeper has acquired a knack of fighting his way back into the national team every time he is dropped. The talented Chetri has a fascinating career graph. For someone who began his career in 2000 the rise was quick and once in the senior ranks, he has also realised how difficult it is to reach the top and stay there.
But he is truly the "COMEBACK KID" of Indian hockey. The talented goalie was recalled for the national training camp after the 2010 World Cup and has been a regular face in the indian side, in fact a goalie to lead the Indian hockey Team in a long time.
Last International Appearance: 2011 Champions Challenge (A stunning performance indeed.)



PR Sreejesh
 Caps: 56 
Born : Kizhakambalam(Kerela), 30 kms from Kochi
 
He wasn't a hockey player at all. While at school, that is, till he joined the G. V. Raja Sports School, he was a shot-putter. In fact, he had even started off athletics training here till he decided to make the switchover to hockey when he was halfway into the eighth standard. Sreejesh, now doing his Plus Two, was street smart to realise his strengths and weaknesses. "I got a lot of encouragement and help from Jayakumar and Ramesh Kolappa, the hockey coaches. The next year I represented Kerala schools and the Nehru Cup tournament. From then on I was hooked to this l game." he says.
Life was always sticks and stones for this guy. he was made the first stand-bye for the junior tour to Bangladesh, then when he was considered `too junior' to be fitted into the team for the Junior Asia Cup in 2003 and when after his maiden national camp, the sub-junior trip to Bangladesh was cancelled.
Sreejesh made his international debut in 2004 with the junior Indian team in the Test series against Australia at Perth. India lost the series 2-3, but Sreejesh also made his presence felt in the few matches he got to play in the tours to Pakistan and Malaysia. 
The youngster from Kerala is a promising goalkeeper, who had played a key role in India winning the 2010 World Cup opener against arch-rival Pakistan in Delhi. With this the colt has announced his arrival on the big time hockey. He was taken in for the Ordos Asian Champions Trophy after Adrian D'Souza fell through with his strong views on contemporary hockey (refer the last section of this post). 
He gained the confidence of Indian coach Jose Brassa, who fielded him for the Australian match in the Lanco Super Series Hockey 9s.. He saved a 25-yard penalty stroke against experienced Waseem Ahmad, which helped India to garner a point
He was selected ahead of his experienced counterpart Bharat Chetri due to the then coach Jose Brasa's intense confidence in him for the 2010 Azlan Shah Cup final. However that day was washed out by rain and the grand final agaisnt Korea could not be witnessed.
Tall Sreejesh is the first hockey international to emerge from the state of Kerala in many many years. He has figured in many junior tournaments, leading some of them, before now ensconed in the senior team. 
 Last International Appearance: 2011 Champions Challenge


Adrian D'Souza
Caps : 114
Born : Mumbai

Hockey, happened to Adrian as an accident, because the regular Goal-Keeper of his school team did not report for a game. Adrian played as the keeper, had a broken tooth and promised never to play keeper again. But his coach was impressed and Adrian has since never looked back. 
Adrian got his first break in the Air-India Hockey Academy as a 16 year old. After 3 years Adrian was representing India at the Athens Olympics. He made is international debut for the Men's National Team in January 2004 during the Sultan Azlan Shah Tournament in Kualalumpur, Malaysia.His name reflected in the Athens Olympics slot and did well when experienced Devesh Chauhan struggled to strike rhythm.. D'Souza represented his native country at the 2004 Summer Olympics, where India finished in seventh place. 
Regarded as one of the most innovative and daring goal-keepers of recent times, Adrian bought the "Rushing technique" to the hockey field. Adrian was the captain of the India Junior Hockey team, which participated in the Rabobank 2005 Junior Hockey World Cup (Under 21s). His dream is to win an Olympic medal for the country. 
By the age of 23, Adrian was capped more than 100 times and played in all major field hockey tournaments, including the 2006 Hockey World Cup, 2006 Asian Games, 2007 Asia Cup and 2 Champions Trophies.
Adrian prefers to wear his lucky number 12 jersey while on the field. He also gets his helmets custom made by OBO. The designs are always made by him.
His international career was interrupted abruptly after he acted as the spokesperson of the team when they effectively staged a revolt against Hockey India in the early 2010.  
Last International Appearance: 2010 World Cup


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