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"I am against this Trend": Baldev Singh (4/17/2008)
--K.Arumugam
Women hockey’s well known coach Baldev Singh says youth needs to be accorded priority and recalling old players will not serve any purpose. Reacting to the recall of Pritamrani Siwach – she comes back to the international scene after five years – the grassroot coach who produced many players for the country says, “I am against this trend”.

Had an youngster been given chance instead of the 33-year old, that youngster would be in position to serve the country for long. Is adline Kerketta so bad she had to be replaced with Pritam?, he asks.

One of the senior IWHF official and former player of repute Bula Ganguly also nearly feels the same. I need players who have good physique like what we had in the past, Prem Maya, Madhu Yadav. We aim at beating top teams of Europe and Australia and that cannot be done without strong girls. As far as Pritam is concerned, do we have scarcity of forwards?, she queried. But at the same she pleaded she has not seen pritam playing in the last two years.

Bula is working as District Sports Office, Kanpur, and is additional general secretary of IWHF.

Chief coach MK Kaushik maintains that Pritam selected herself on the strength of her performance and the whole lot of selectors were there to see her giving tough time to all other forwards. “What is considered is form, not just age”, he hastens to add.

The Indian forward line indeed looks both extremes. With 14 year old Rani Devi and 19 year older than her, Pritam Rani in the attack line.

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