Bengaluru, Sept. 20: The Indian men's hockey team are gearing up for the upcoming FIH Odisha Hockey Men's World Cup 2023, which is set to take place next year from January 13, 2023 to January 29, 2023.
The prestigious quadrennial event will be held across two venues in Odisha across Bhubaneswar and Rourkela, and will see 16 teams participating in the tournament.
With the tournament returning to India once again, the Indian Men's Hockey Team forward Mandeep Singh said that he is excited to play in front of the home fans once again. "There is always an excitement in the air when we get a chance to play in front of the home fans. Getting a chance to perform against the best teams in the world once again in India will be an exciting affair and hence, we are eager for the World Cup to begin."
Currently placed in the 5th position in FIH World Rankings, the Indian Men's Hockey Team are placed in Pool D along with England, Spain and Wales. Mandeep Singh stressed that despite being placed in a tough group, the team is confident about performing to the best of their abilities.
"Our Coach Graham Reid always tells us to focus on what we can control and not worry about things beyond our control. Irrespective of which teams we have in our group, we are focusing on preparing ourselves to the best of our skills, and according to our plans," Mandeep said.
"We are confident that if we stick to our basics, and focus on the areas where we need to improve upon in training, we will be able to perform well in the tournament and have a great showing," he added.
Before the FIH Odisha Hockey Men's World Cup 2023, the Indian Men's Hockey Team will play against New Zealand and Spain in the first phase of the FIH Men's Hockey Pro League 2022/23 from October 28, 2022 to November 6th, 2022. Mandeep Singh stressed that the FIH Pro League will help the team in preparing for the quadrennial event.
"It is always good to compete against strong teams before a major competition. The FIH Men's Hockey Pro League 2022/23 will be helpful once again to prepare ourselves for the World Cup, and will also give us a chance to test ourselves before the tournament," Mandeep signed off.
Source: Hockey India