Indian hockey team trains hard for world league in Bhubaneswar

Bhubaneswar (Odisha): The Indian men’s hockey team underwent their first training session on Thursday morning at the iconic Kalinga Stadium, ahead of the Odisha Men’s Hockey World League Final Bhubaneswar 2017.

The mega event will see top teams in the world battle for supremacy starting December 1 where defending champions Australia will meet India in their first Pool B match while England will take on Germany.

The team underwent through paces on a sunny Thursday morning under the watchful eyes of chief coach Sjoerd Marijne, as they started their preparations for the tournament.

The 43-year-old Dutchman emphasized on speed and tactical training as the 18-member squad played a short 30-minute half-court match against each other.

“Our first practice session went well. It is good to be at the Kalinga Stadium. While it is my first time here, for the players it is like home because all of them have played many Hockey India League Matches here. The pitch is fast so we like it,” expressed Marijne after the 90-minute training session.

In the next one-week, Marijne wants to build the team’s intensity during the training sessions.

“The focus is to get the intensity higher and higher for our conditioning as we approach match day. Our preparations have been really good with the 18-day national camp in Bengaluru but there is scope to get our level higher ahead of the tournament. We play short matches among ourselves, so we keep the guys in match momentum,” added Marijne.

The Indian team will play practice matches against Olympic Gold medalists Argentina on November 27 and England on November 28. (ANI)