Hockey Junior WC: Indian team is focused on a podium finish, says midfielder Vivek Sagar

Image Source: ANI

Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], November 1 (ANI): Playing regular matches against their senior compatriots who are housed in the same campus at SAI Centre, has helped the India Colts prepare for the FIH Odisha Hockey men’s Junior World Cup in Bhubaneswar.

Vivek Sagar Prasad who is eligible to participate in the Junior men World Cup stated that getting insights from seniors on playing under pressure has also helped the Colts.

“Our preparations are going really well and every player is giving his 100 per cent on the field during practice,” said Vivek Sagar in a Hockey India release.

“Sharing the same campus as the senior team has been the biggest boon because we have been able to get a lot of match practice against them. We also spend a lot of time talking to the seniors about playing under pressure and then experiences they share is valuable,” he added.

The FIH Odisha Hockey men’s Junior World Cup is scheduled to begin on November 24 in the temple city of Bhubaneswar which boasts of world-class facilities at the Kalinga Stadium.

Hosts and defending Champions India are grouped in pool B along with Canada, France and Poland. The other teams in the tournament 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.

Talking about the level of competition, Vivek, who is part of the Indian Junior men’s Core Probable’s Group for the FIH Odisha Men’s Junior World Cup, said, “No doubt it will be a tough competition but we will continue to go by the mantra of taking one-match-at-a-time. Our first priority will be to top the group and make it to the quarter Finals.”

Vivek further added that the players are highly motivated and are eager to play on their home ground in Bhubaneswar. “Though there won’t be any spectators, yet there is a lot of excitement among the players to just experience the facilities in Kalinga Stadium.”

“Personally, for me too, I never had the opportunity of playing in the 2016 FIH Junior Men’s World Cup as I had suffered an injury and eventually never made the team.

“I am really looking forward to use my experience with the Senior team to play my best hockey at the FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s Junior World Cup in Bhubaneswar. Our focus is to make it to the podium,” he signed off. (ANI)

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