Bhubaneswar, 30 November 2014: After arriving in Bhubaneswar today in the afternoon, the world champions Australia hit the pitch for their first practice session in the evening at Kalinga Stadium. Being the defending champions in the Hero Men’s Champions Trophy 2014, the Kookaburras started their practice sessions with a few drills and fitness exercises.
Speaking after the training session, Captain Eddie Ockenden said, “Today’s practice session was light and we were getting a feel of the atmosphere in Bhubaneswar. The weather is a bit hot here, but not too hot for us and we are adapting ourselves to this weather. Some of our players have played at this ground during the Hero Hockey Indian League, which will help us to understand the ground better. For the last three years, we have been improving our game and we have made some steady progress in a few areas. The 2012 Champions Trophy in Australia was a great tournament for us and we want to repeat the same success here in Bhubaneswar.”
Commenting on today’s practice session, Coach Graham Reid said, “’The practice session today was on the lighter side as we landed here a few hours back and we did not want to exert the players much on the first day itself. It was a good training session though and we are gearing-up to take on some good challenges in the championship. Moreover, it was an honour to meet the Sports Secretary of Odisha Shri Saswat Mishra at the field today as he welcomed us to the city and had a pep-talk with the players.”