Tirkey wants three-month break

The veteran Indian defender wants a break to recover from an ankle injury.

updated: March 21, 2008 12:12 IST
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After the doomed Olympic qualification campaign, veteran Indian defender Dilip Tirkey wants to take a break from hockey for three months to recover from an ankle injury and decide his future.

The former national skipper has requested Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) president K P S Gill that he may not be considered for assignments during this period.

The 30-year-old defender will thus miss the four-nation tournament in Australia next month when India will be pitted against the hosts as well as Korea and China.

India is to play another four-nation tourney in Dublin in June.

"Since I am recovering from an ankle injury, I have today requested IHF president and the team management not to consider me for a period of three months, by which time I will be fully fit," Tirkey told PTI.

The veteran is still undecided as to how long he will continue in the game.

"As far as my future goes, I will decide after due consultations with the Federation," he said.

Tirkey wants to work with upcoming players and teach them the tricks of the trade to excel at the top level after he leaves the scene.

"During the three-month period, I would like to help young players to become potent defenders. I foresee a bright future for defenders like Samir Baxla, Manjit Kulu and Innocent Kulu.

"All these players have the abilities and I am confident that they will step into my shoes once I decide to call it a day from competitive hockey," he said.

He also felt several juniors coming up the ranks had it in them to play for India.

"My ambition is to make Indian youngsters, particularly defenders at the junior level, to be fighting fit. These players have the ability to create initiatives from deep defence to help India win matches," Tirkey added.