SAI-Academy coach Pradeep Kumar Sarangi hails team’s character after winning 1st Sub Junior Women Academy National Championship -

SAI-Academy coach Pradeep Kumar Sarangi hails team’s character after winning 1st Sub Junior Women Academy National Championship

Share us on
117 Views

SAI-Academy defeated the hosts Odisha Naval Tata Hockey High Performance Centre 5-4 in the shootout

Khel Today Reporter
Bhubaneswar : A delightful finish to the 1st Hockey India Sub Junior Women Academy National Championship 2021 saw SAI-Academy putting up a sensational show in the final to emerge as the champions of the inaugural edition of the tournament. They defeated the hosts Odisha Naval Tata Hockey High Performance Centre 5-4 in the shootout, following a hard-fought 2-2 draw in the regulation time.

“It’s always a great feeling to win the inaugural edition of any event, and we defeated arguably the best team of the tournament in their home, so it’s a special one. Girls are happier than me. I am really proud of the way girls performed in the Final and I feel we deserved it, so I am really happy”, expressed SAI-Academy coach Pradeep Kumar Sarangi clinching the 1st Hockey India Sub Junior Women Academy National Championship 2021 title.

SAI-Academy, who remained unbeaten in the tournament, won the Semi-Finals against Madhya Pradesh Hockey Academy in a similar fashion. They registered a thrilling 4-3 win in the shootout after holding their opponents to 2-2 in the regulation time. Just like the Semi Final, they fought back twice after trailing Madhya Pradesh in the Final.

Commenting on the team’s character and resilience, Coach Sarangi said, “At this young age, they really know how to hold their nerves in tough games like these. Both games were really tough and to play according to the situations is a big thing at this age. You know, shootouts aren’t that easy, and these girls did a great job, so credit to them for showing a great character”.

After conducting trials, SAI-Academy immediately started their preparations for the tournament in February. While praising his team, Sarangi expressed that girls did a phenomenal job to gel with each other in less time and play as a unit.

“We had less time to prepare due to pandemic situations. We started the preparations immediately after the trials, and we selected girls from different parts of the country. Mostly from Punjab, Haryana, UP, Jharkhand, Odisha and some parts of Madhya Pradesh. So, building a strong team was a challenge, but I think each one of them did a phenomenal job in gelling with each other and played as a unit,” said Sundergarh-based SAI-Academy coach.

He added, “In Sub Junior, players are asked to play the game in a specific manner, so challenges lie on them how they adapt to the team and situations quickly, they did exceptionally well and won the title”.

Sarangi also thanked Hockey India for introducing an exclusive tournament for the Academies. He said, “I would like to thank them (Hockey India) for conducting such tournaments for U-17 girls because there aren’t many tournaments happening in India for this age group, and it would really help to grow Hockey further and to inculcate a competitive culture in India”.

“This is an encouraging move by Hockey India to introduce an exclusive championship for Academies. I feel in the coming few years down the line, the Academy Championships will become a gateway for these girls to get into the Core Group,” he stated.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *