Will go all out in my first senior nationals: Tushar
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While he prefers not to say much until the appointment is made officially, Olympian Tushar Khandker has been tipped to lead Uttar Pradesh in the upcoming Hockey India Senior Men's National Championship. Instead at the conclusion of the two day selection trials held at Lucknow's Dhyan Chand stadium, on Thursday, Khandker prefers to talk on the excitement he feels simply for representing his state side.
" This will be my first senior nationals. I will go all out to give my best in the competition. I have played for UP in the national meets at sub-junior and junior level and even won a silver in 2003 in junior championships. Though I always wanted to participate in senior national championships but could not do so as I would be busy with the India camps or was on national duty representing India abroad etc," says the ace forward.
Indeed despite being a regular member of the national team, Khandker says that the trials for the state squad were equally important. "The trials for the senior nationals have been a great experience for me. I was given a lot of respect from the other participants. The youngsters watched me give the trials with great keenness." he says.
Hockey India selector Syed Ali, who is also the selector for the UP team, says that there are plenty of expectations from Khandker. "Tushar has been representing India for quite some time, in all the important tournaments. He has also played at the Olympics so I am sure that with his experience, he will be able to lead the team well. As compared to last year when the team could not reach the quarter-finals, a better result is expected this time around, as there are more youngsters in the squad. I am sure that seniors like Vikas Sharma, Amir and Lalit Upadhyay will also be sharing their experience with the other players. The drawback however remains that the selected boys could not practice as a unit as the trials have ended just today and the team will be leaving for Bangalore tomorrow. If UP is able to defeat Railways in its pool, then it stands good chances of winning a medal," he says.
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