New Delhi, 17th June 2023: It was a mixed result for the Indian Men’s Hockey Team in their recent Europe outing where they won four out of the eight matches played over a span of two weeks in the ongoing FIH Hockey Pro League 2022-23 season. India lost 1-2 and won 5-1 against Belgium, while they lost 2-4 and won 4-4 (4-2) in the shootout against Great Britain. In the doubleheader against Argentina, India won 3-0 and 2-1, while the team lost 1-4 and 2-3 against the Netherlands.
Speaking about their outing in London and the Netherlands respectively, India Captain Harmanpreet Singh said, “Overall, I think it was a good outing. Playing away games against top sides is always challenging and I think we lived up to the billing.”
The Indian side finished their campaign as provisional table toppers with 30 points from 16 matches. This was also the team’s first outing under new Chief Coach Craig Fulton. “Craig brings a lot of positivity into the team and he is very clear in his thoughts and expectations on how we must play as a team. In these matches, the focus was more on executing a disciplined structure in our game, with emphasis on defending well,” he added.
The Indian team is currently on a break, and they will start preparing for the much-awaited Hero Asian Champions Trophy Chennai 2023 once the training camp resumes. “There were a number of takeaways from the matches in Europe. We conceded goals from the touchline and that needs to be fixed. There is also work to be done on converting the chances we create in the D. While playing top European teams is always a good learning experience, we will now focus on bringing our best game to the fore against top Asian sides in the Asian Champions Trophy and Asian Games,” he added.
For now, Harmanpreet is enjoying this short break as it’s special with his new-born daughter. “It is a very joyous atmosphere back home with my daughter born on 10th June. I am enjoying this new responsibility and making the most of this break by spending time with her,” he signed off.