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Sandeep hopeful of comeback after German stint

With 11 goals, was highest scorer in first session of German league, Sandeep Singh wants to make it to the Indian team, reports Saurabh Duggal.
Hindustan Times | By Saurabh Duggal Saurabh Duggal Saurabh Duggal Saurabh Duggal Saurabh Duggal, Chandigarh
UPDATED ON OCT 25, 2007 08:27 PM IST

Drag- flicker Sandeep Singh is hoping to make a comeback into the Indian men's hockey team after his commendable performance in the first session of the German League, where he emerged the highest scorer. He netted 11 goals in nine matches for his club, TG Frankenthal.

What was especially satisfying about his performance was that he seemed to have regained his old touch, converting 11 of the 16 penalty corners he took.

"I played in the first division there and the competition was really tough. One has to be in great form and best of shape to score goals in the league," said Sandeep, who returned on Wednesday after a two-month stint in Germany.

"My performance has answered doubts in the media about my fitness. I wouldn't have been able to score the goals had I not been fit," he said.

Sandeep, who failed to find a place in the Asia Cup hockey team due to an injury, used the German stint to prove his mettle.

Now, he is looking forward for a comeback to the Indian team.

"I am satisfied with my performance in Germany. It will certainly help me get back my place in the Indian team," he said. "The best part there was my high penalty corner conversion rate. For the past few months I was struggling on it and in the league I have almost touched 70% conversion rate, which is good as per international standards," he said.

Asked if he was disheartened about his omission from the Indian squad, he said, "Sometimes you do lose your confidence when you are out of the squad, that too without any fault of yours (Sandeep was injured following a fall in the bathroom). The same happened with me. But the German League only helped me regain my form. More than that it got me back my confidence, the most important thing for a player to survive and excel."

Elaborating on his performance in the league, Sandeep said, "Before I joined the club, we were placed eight. Now we have moved to the fourth position. We won four matches and I played a pivotal role in three of them. We defeated HTC Stuttgarter Kickers by 3-2 and I scored all goals," he added.

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