After ending 2017 season on a high by winning Asia Cup and Bronze medal in the Odisha Men’s Hockey World League Final in Bhubaneswar, the Men’s team began preparations for 2018 by finishing second in the Four Nations Invitational Tournament in New Zealand, where they faced World No. 3 Belgium, World No. 9 New Zealand and World No. 16 Japan.
This year, Indian hockey team will be competing in major tournaments like Commonwealth games, Asian Games and not to forget the grand Hockey World Cup 2018. After having some off time with family, the core team of 33 members is back to SAI Bengaluru for the training. Captain Manpreet Singh says, “We have had sufficient rest, both physically and mentally, and are ready to take on the challenges that lie in front of us this season, starting with the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2018.”
“We had a good run last year but this year we look to retain our crown at the Asian Games, thereby directly qualifying for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. The biggest opportunity for us as a team is the prospect of winning the World Cup in our own backyard so we will give our all to prepare ourselves in the best way possible, starting with the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup and then the Commonwealth Games.” he added.
Indian team conceded 17 goals in 8 matches of 4 Nations Invitational tournament and captain Manpreet emphasis on strengthening the defense. He said ““Defence will be the priority in this camp as we look to execute our plans in the back better during crucial stages of a match. However, in the modern game, the efficiency of the defence also relies on how well you can defend as a team and not just individuals or the players playing the role.”
After getting back on turf the two most active social media personalities of Indian Hockey- Rupinder Pal Singh and PR Sreejesh didn’t forget to post the pictures of the first day at training.
— sreejesh p r (@16Sreejesh) February 12, 2018
— Rupinder Pal Singh (@rupinderbob3) February 12, 2018