Bhubaneswar, November 19: Team Germany arrived on Friday morning for the FIH Odisha Hockey Men's Junior World Cup Bhubaneswar 2021. Grouped in Pool D, along with Argentina, Egypt, and Pakistan will be expecting tough competition right from the start.
"We have done lots of training in small regional groups during Covid-19 lockdown periods. We also got to play many games against our European Friends during the summer months, which will help us in the tournament," asserted Valentin Altenburg, Germany Head Coach.
Excited to compete in Bhubaneswar at the iconic Kalinga Stadium, Altenburg said, "We are extremely excited to come and play here in Bhubaneswar in such a big stadium. Kalinga Stadium is one of the finest hockey stadiums in the world."
Team Poland also arrived on Friday afternoon, and Head Coach Jacek Adrian talked about their preparations for FIH Odisha Hockey Men's Junior World Cup Bhubaneswar 2021. "Our preparation for the event was not very long. The weather in Poland is completely different, it is very cold, especially in winters. But we tried to do the best we could do, and I think we will play our best hockey here," he said.
Meanwhile, a contingent of Team Canada also arrived in Bhubaneswar on Thursday night to compete for the title. "We are really excited, we are looking forward to play in one of the Meccas for hockey in the world, and the stadium is really impressive. So, we are looking forward to getting a few games in there," Canada captain Christopher Tardif said.
Germany will open up their campaign against Pakistan on 24 November, while Poland, and Canada, who are both placed in Group B along with France, and India will face off against each other in their opening game of the competition on the same day.
This will be the 12th edition of the biggest tournament in U-21 Men's Hockey. This is the third consecutive time that India is hosting the prestigious tournament, which took place in New Delhi in 2013 and in Lucknow in 2016.
A total of sixteen nations are participating in the event. Hosts and defending champions India are grouped in pool B along with Canada, France and Poland.
The other teams in the fray include Belgium, Malaysia, South Africa and Chile in pool A, Netherlands, Spain, Korea and United States grouped in pool C while Germany, Argentina, Pakistan and Egypt in Pool D.
Each team is set to play three matches during the league stage over a period of five days. This will be followed by a series of cross-over matches, due to take place on 30 November, followed by knockout matches from 1 December, with a final to decide the champions scheduled for 5 December.