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Scouting for talent: Germany's strength

German hockey player, Nicolas Jacobi, could easily be mistaken for a hoopster because of his impressive height. Probe him why he took up hockey --- and not basketball or volleyball --- Jacobi says he grew up in a family with a tradition of hockey.

india Updated: Jan 11, 2013 23:49 IST
Navneet Singh

German hockey player, Nicolas Jacobi, could easily be mistaken for a hoopster because of his impressive height. Probe him why he took up hockey --- and not basketball or volleyball --- Jacobi says he grew up in a family with a tradition of hockey. Jacobi, the youngest of four siblings, got attracted to the sport when he was five years old. "Since my elder sisters and brother were playing hockey, I didn't try my hand at any other sport."

Jacobi is here for the Hockey India League (HIL) and is one of the two goalkeepers in the Delhi Waveriders' team. The German was part of the national team that defended its title at the London Games and he attributes his success to a strong grassroots system. "No talent goes waste and every individual gets enough opportunities to showcase his talent," he said of the structure Germany, which was revamped in the 1990s.

Jacobi says that unlike soccer, Germany doesn't have a huge hockey base and that the game is more popular in India. "There are fewer training facilities, but an excellent scouting system back home," he said.

No Parking issues
Hockey fans will have something to cheer about as the Delhi team officials have made efforts to have a parking area adjacent to the National Stadium. "We have made arrangement for parking so that more people can come and watch the games," said Amar Sinha, the Delhi team spokesperson. The underground parking at the stadium is, however, out of bounds.

Visas for Pak players
Islamabad: The Indian High Commission on Friday issued visas to the nine Pakistani players bound for HIL. High Commission officials confirmed the news. The players expected to leave for India on Saturday are: Md Rizwan Jr, Md Rizwaan Sr (Waveriders), Sayeed Kashif Shah (Punjab Warriors ), Shafqat Rasool, Md Irfan (Ranchi Rhinos), Md Tousiq, Md Rashid, Fareed Ahmed, Imran Butt (Mumbai Magicians).