Potchefstroom: The Indian men’s hockey team will focus on “gaining momentum” for a busy year ahead when they play France in the opening match of the FIH Pro League here on Tuesday. After a stellar 2021, when the men’s hockey team won the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games bronze medal after more than four decades, the […]
Potchefstroom: The Indian men’s hockey team will focus on “gaining momentum” for a busy year ahead when they play France in the opening match of the FIH Pro League here on Tuesday.
After a stellar 2021, when the men’s hockey team won the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games bronze medal after more than four decades, the Manpreet Singh-led side is set to embark on a new mission in South Africa with the hosts and France their first opponents of the year.
The world No. 3 side will play two matches apiece against South Africa and France and India vice-captain Harmanpreet Singh said they were really excited about the first assignment of 2022.
“We are really excited for our first assignment of 2022. We begin our season against two quality sides, so it’s a great thing. Our focus is to gain momentum, and make a positive start as we approach this year step-by-step. These FIH Hockey Pro League matches will help us prepare for the forthcoming major events,” said Harmanpreet.
The last time India met France was during the 2015 Fintro Hockey World League Semifinal Antwerp, with the former winning the match 3-2. Harmanpreet said the match will be challenging for his team. “We haven’t played against France in a long time. They are a really good side, and, no doubt, it will be a challenging match for us,” he said.
“Our focus will remain on playing good hockey, executing our skills, and making the best out of the opportunities. We are looking forward to tomorrow’s match. We will definitely give our 100 per cent, and hopefully, start the campaign with a win,” the vice-captain added.
The Manpreet Singh-led India will then square off against South Africa on February 9. The last time both teams faced each other was during the final of FIH Men’s Series Finals Bhubaneswar Odisha 2019, which India won 5-1 to seal a spot for the FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers Odisha 2019. The overall head-to-head record since 2013 belongs to the visitors, with India winning all three matches.
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