Defending champions India will kickstart their campaign at the FIH Odisha Hockey Men's Junior World Cup 2021, Bhubaneswar on November 24. India will take on France in their opening encounter on Wednesday.
Reigning champions India have been placed in Pool B alongside Canada, France and Poland.
The Junior World Cup is scheduled to be held behind closed doors owing to the prevailing COVID-19 outbreak. As many as 16 teams from across the globe will fight for the trophy at the prestigious hockey tournament.
Coach Graham Reid's insights on team India's preparations ahead of FIH Odisha Hockey Men's Junior World Cup
The Indian Hockey team will step on to the field to defend their title. India chief coach Graham Reid precisely explained the preparation and practice matches that the team has been exposed to.
While addressing a press conference, Graham Reid said:
"It's always difficult with the first game where you don't have too much knowledge of the opposition. Both teams are in the same boat. So, it's exciting as well. When we went to Europe earlier this year, we understood playing international matches is very different from playing internal matches."
"Our practice matches here against The Netherlands, Germany and the USA gave us really good competition to face. We do not read too much into those as people try different things. No one gives away too much. Still, it's nice to get a sense of the teams and it gives us videos to analyze of the things we need to learn and change," Reid elaborated on the team's preparedness for the marquee event.
Captain and midfielder Vivek Sagar Prasad spoke about his experience with the Chief Coach and the senior team. Vivek has enunciated that senior players in the camp have helped the youngsters in their preparations. Ahead of stepping onto the field Vivek and team are aiming for a podium finish.
"Chief Coach Graham Reid always tells us to put the team first. I have learned this playing at the big stage and I have implemented the same here. We have to maintain our bonds as a team on the field and off the field, and we have to stay united. Our bonds will help us in getting good results in the tournament," said Vivek.
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