Dhaka (Bangladesh), XX September 2017: The Indian Men’s Hockey team will go into the Hero Asia Cup 2017 as the favourites to win the tournament as they are the highest ranked Asian team in the world. But the assignment at hand for the Indians should not be taken for granted.
Hockey India has recently appointed Dutchman Sjoerd Marijne as the new Chief Coach of the Men’s team, and according to Captain Manpreet Singh, the immediate task at hand is a challenge that the team is determined to emerge with flying colours at the Hero Asia Cup.
“We have a great blend of youth and experience within our squad and the experienced players definitely help the younger players in performing well. We have been training vigorously in our National Camp and are focused on making all the required improvements in our game,” Manpreet Singh spoke on how his team is shaping up for Hero Asia Cup 2017.
India have won the coveted tournament twice, and have ended up as runners-up on five separate occasions, the 2013 Asia Cup in Malaysia being the last time they lost in the Final to South Korea. However, the Indian skipper is confident that the team will prove their mettle once again by winning the tournament after a wait of 10 years. He said, “The last time we won the tournament was in 2007 but this time we have the chance to play as the number one team in Asia. We know that all the participating teams will pose stiff competition to us, but our aim is to take the tournament match-by-match and give our 100% in order to win against every opponent. Winning the Hero Asia Cup 2017 will be a stepping stone for us in achieving our main objective of being a top-3 ranked country in the world.”
Captain Manpreet Singh has vowed to improve in the upcoming tournaments. “We have lost to Malaysia earlier this year. Therefore, we know that we cannot take any team lightly at Hero Asia Cup 2017. However, we have also emphasized on making the required improvements in our game. Our focus has been on fitness, technique and working together as a team, playing up to each of our individual strength.” said the Indian Captain.
India have been placed in Pool A alongside Pakistan, Japan and hosts Bangladesh. The Indian team will kick-start their campaign against Japan in the opening match of the Hero Asia Cup 2017 on Wednesday, 11th October, 2017 in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Event fixtures: Hero Men’s Asia Cup 2017 – Match Schedule
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