On December 8, Lucknow witnessed the grand opening of the extravagant FIH junior men’s hockey world cup 2016. Teams from across the world arrived in the city to play in the grounds of Major Dhyan Chand Stadium. The City of Nawabs will observe a series of spectacular matches for ten days at a stretch.
Indian team is as excited and thrilled to play on their own soil as all others, including but not limited to Germany, Japan and New Zealand . Indian team has been clubbed in Pool D with Canada, England and Russia. With immense hopes pinned onto this World cup, all team players seem to be in phenomenal form and ooze monumental energy.
India’s senior defensive wall, Harmanpreet Singh said, “We started as juniors and are playing together for three years now. So the team bonding is excellent. We all understand each other’s requirements, which helps in taking the team forward,” the drag flick specialist said to a media agency.
“I sat individually with most of my team-mates, shared what I learnt during my time in the senior dug-out. I stressed upon the importance of growing together as a team,” Harman added.
“Indian or foreign coach doesn’t matter. What matters is whether you can execute the plans, irrespective of whether they are relayed by an interpreter or a coach who knows the language that all players understand,” he suggested his opinion on the tough question of coaching. He reiterated by spelling out his opinion, “the basic coaching structure remains the same. It all boils down to how we use those tactics and strategies on the field of play,” he added.
With humungous poise and optimism, he spelled out “I can’t say anything about the result, which is not in our hand. All I know is that if we play at the top of our game, the result will take care of itself.” This sure indicates his seniority and confidence in the team’s performance.
Germany’s junior hockey team coach Valentin Altenburg on Sunday said that hosts India will be one of the strong contenders to win the FIH Junior World Cup.
The 34-year-old has been coaching his German team for more than 3 years now. He suggested that this World cup will be crucial in selecting the best players who could then play for the Senior squad.
Altenberg also pointed out that India will be a team to beat at this World Cup. Germany had lost to India in the Final of the Four Nations Tournament held in Valencia (Spain) in October 2016.
The action-packed league is scheduled to run till 18th December. Keep a close tab on all the developments here.
India is lined up to play against England at 18:00 hours today. Indians, keep your eyes glued. Fingers crossed!