The Indian Men’s Hockey team have a very long and arduous season ahead of them which is packed with several events. Therefore the players were putting in the hard yards in SAI, Bengaluru as the national camps are going on. The members of the 39-man core group are gearing up for the upcoming Hockey Pro League matches in Europe as they will face Belgium and Great Britain in London and then will move to Eindhoven to take on the Netherlands and Argentina.
The Men in Blue remain at the top of the points table after a sensational spell of matches in Rourkela where they remained unbeaten against World Champions Germany and Australia. Experienced defender Amit Rohidas is very hopeful regarding India’s chances. He opened up on how the team plays well at home but the real challenge this time will be to perform at the same level away from home in unfamiliar conditions.
“Last time we finished third in the League. In the FIH Hockey Pro League, we have typically done well at home but the challenge is when we play abroad and this time, we aim to keep up the winning streak when the matches move to Europe,” Rohidas pointed out.
The experienced defender highlighted the efforts put in by the Indian players especially on fitness and also on improving movement and agility. He feels that the players must remain fresh and energetic as it is a busy year and the team simply cannot afford injuries to their players.
“We are working really hard in the ongoing camp with the focus being on fitness, building our core and improving our agility. It is a busy year of hockey and it’s important we remain fresh from tournament-to-tournament and emphasis is also on a good recovery process to avoid small injuries,” the 29-year-old added.
Following their Hockey Pro League matches in London and Eindhoven, the indian team will return home and train for the Asian Champions Trophy which is set to take place in Chennai this August. Right after that, the team will travel to Hangzhou in China for the Asian Games. “No doubt it’s going to be an exciting period for hockey with major tournaments coming up. After the Asiad, we will commence the next season of Pro League and then there’s the Hockey 5’s World Cup as well so in that sense, there is a lot of hockey coming up right until the Paris Olympics,” Rohidas maps the upcoming events.
He also shares that there are plenty of young and talented players who will play for the country across different events and that way the national team will have enough talented players with international experience waiting in the wings to cement a place in the main team. “It’s also a good thing that we have a strong core group with youngsters getting a chance to play in top tournaments. This ensures that we have an experienced pool of players who are waiting for a call-up to perform,” he concluded.