Sniper Mohammed Raheel aims to consolidate gains | Ice Hockey News

BENGALURU: Wearing the Indian colors was striker Mohammed Raheel’s childhood dream. He has been working for this for over a decade. When the opportunity presented itself at the FIH Hockey 5s tournament recently, he made the most of it.
The 25-year-old striker from Bengaluru scored 10 goals in five games to become top scorer and deservedly named player of the tournament. India won the weekend’s tournament with a thrilling 6-4 win over Poland in title contention.
Back in town after a successful campaign in the inaugural edition of the competition, Raheel, the captain of the Karnataka team, is looking to repeat the performance in Lausanne.
Although the format was played at international level for the first time, Hockey India is organizing the same at national level in recent years.
Speaking to TOI on Tuesday, the promising international said: “I’ve played three editions of the Hockey India 5 competition, so I had experience, but the level of competition was completely different and we had to adapt quickly.”
He said of the tournament in Lausanne: “The tournament itself was a great experience. We played a fast-paced game against some of the best teams in the world. I am very happy that I was able to make a significant contribution to the success of the team.”
Raheel chose the last game against Poland as the best of the tournament. “At one point we were three goals down. Making that comeback in such a short space of time was a confidence boost,” he added.
Raheel, who comes from a family of hockey players in which both his father Md Naseeruddin and older brother Md Naeemuddin played forwards, was selected for the Indian camp in January this year. In the past six months he has seen a significant improvement in his fitness and game.
“I’ve improved a lot in terms of fitness. Before the camp I had Covid-19 and it had affected my fitness, which I was able to not only regain but also work on during the camps,” he said.
Raheel, who adores former Indian skipper Arjun Halappa, is now aiming to make the Indian team.
“Ever since I started playing, this is all I’ve dreamed of. I know I’m getting closer and closer to breaking through in the team. I just want to keep working hard and making progress,” he signed.

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