Bhubaneswar, 2 December 2014: With Hockey fever gripping the city, Australia, Netherlands and England were seen practicing at the Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar today ahead of the Hero Men’s Champions Trophy 2014.
Each team were seen brushing up their proficiency focussing heavily on advanced skill development and game play training to take their own game a notch higher before going off to play in the most awaited tournament.
Speaking on the sidelines of the practice session, Australian Captain, Eddie Ockenden said, “The practice over the last few days has been really awesome. The weather conditions are pretty hot but it is enjoyable and challenging for us. I don’t know too much about the other teams’ training but having been practicing actively in the training session at our end, I am sure it is going to be a difficult week ahead but at the same time very dynamic and we are looking forward to this tournament.”
Speaking on the team’s performance during the practice session, Netherlands’ Captain Robert Horst said, “It’s beautiful in Bhubaneswar with a nice stadium and good pitch. We have already been here for a week and the hospitality is perfect for us. In such an intensive competition, our practice match against India yesterday helped us understand team coordination and playing against them understand many things with our team. The practice match played with them was a tough game, India gave us a tough fight and looked focussed and confident. Going into the tournament, our aim will be to focus on scoring opportunities and defence will play a very crucial role. We have three debutants, Niek Schoot, Mirco Pruijser and Martijn Havenga who are continuously working hard and are growing with each game that they have played.”
On the other side England’s Captain, Barry Middleton speaking on the tournament said, “The tournament is really tough and we are in high spirits to top the pool table and playing the finals. While, all the teams are tough and pretty good, we are getting used to the pitch and preparing ourselves to avoid unpredictable circumstances. In comparison to the cold England, the weather here is warm and we are getting acclimatized to the climate.”
Speaking on the preparations for the tournament, England’s Coach Bobby Crutchley said, “In our pool, the competition is tough and it will be interesting to see how well the teams perform on the field. We know Australia at a personal distance as we have had a fantastic year during the World Cup and the Commonwealth Games playing with them and we are looking forward to a clash against them in the inaugural match of the tournament. It’s difficult to judge where the teams are because there are a lot of changes in the teams’ line up. I hope we will finish the year 2014 on a good note bringing the trophy home.”
While Australia will be clashing against England on 6th December 2014 in the opening match of the tournament, Netherlands will be playing its first match with Argentina on the same day.