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Indian Men’s Hockey team seeks positive start to 2022 with FIH Hockey Pro League campaign in South Africa

~ Chief Coach Graham Reid and Captain Manpreet Singh spoke about the team’s preparation and mindset ahead of key clashes against France and South Africa ~

Potchefstroom, 07 February 2022: The Indian Men’s Hockey team is set to play its first set of International matches in 2022 when they take on South Africa and France in the FIH Hockey Pro League 2021/22. The competition is scheduled to be underway from Tuesday, 8th February 2022 in Potchefstroom, South Africa.

Speaking about how the team has settled in South Africa ahead of the all important matches coming up, Chief Coach Graham Reid said, “It’s great to be in South Africa. We haven’t often had the chance to play here at such a high level of competition, so we view this as a great opportunity. All the boys understand how difficult it is going to be against these teams here but we are very keen to get the new year off to a positive start.”

Ranked number 3 in the world, the Indian Men’s Hockey team will take on France and hosts South Africa in alternate matches. Speaking about the distinct format of competition in the FIH Hockey Pro League 2021/22, Reid said, “There is a different dynamic in this tournament because you get some time between two matches against the same team, so it is a bit like a multi-nations tournament in some ways. It is an interesting format which adds a different aspect for teams when they are preparing for their opponents.”

The Indian side comes into the tournament carrying the mantle of Olympic Bronze medallists at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Speaking about whether this tag adds any pressure on his wards, Reid stated, “Realistically, yes, it does add some pressure, but I don’t think it is more than the pressure we put on ourselves to perform well. Whenever a team does well at a big event like the Olympics, I think other teams take note of that and there is a target on you. It does add extra pressure, but I think the good part about that is that we tend to play our best when we are in such situations.”

Captain Manpreet Singh echoed the Chief Coach’s upbeat sentiments ahead of the game and expressed that the atmosphere in the team’s dressing room is one of excitement.

“The players are excited to get back on the field since the Asian Champions Trophy towards the end of last year. We want to play well and settle into a good rhythm in the beginning of this year, because 2022 is a big year for us with the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games lined up this year,” said Manpreet.

Matches will be live on Star Sports Select 2 and Star Sports Select 2 HD. Matches will also be shown live on Hotstar.

Website : www.hockeyindia.org

Photo : www.hockeyindia.org

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