India looking for fillip at home at Hockey Junior World Cup | other | Hindustan Times
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India looking for fillip at home at Hockey Junior World Cup

other Updated: Dec 06, 2013 01:25 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Hero Hockey Junior World Cup

The Indian think tank is eyeing the trophy at the Hero Hockey Junior World Cup, beginning at the National Stadium from today, saying that it will usher in a new era.

For long, national teams have failed to impress in major tournaments, including the Olympic Games. The notable misses are the failure to secure a berth for the Beijing Games in 2008 and finishing last in London four years later.

"The World Cup is a big opportunity for the team to showcase its talent and win the faith of the hockey fraternity," said India skipper Manpreet Singh.

An impressive show at home, according to Manpreet, will change the scenario in the country. "It will revive India's glorious past," he said during the unveiling of the trophy on Thursday.

He felt the national side was a blend of experience and youth, and the players were raring to go. "We don't want to lose this opportunity, and plan to grab it with both hands."

Manager, Baljeet Singh Saini, echoed a similar view, saying a win or podium finish will not only improve things at the grassroots, it will give a fillip to the senior team.

"A positive result here will add to the confidence of the seniors, who have a lot to prove in major events like the Asian Games in 2014," he said.

Saini, who was skipper of the junior team that won silver at Milton Keyes (England) in 1997, said, "Winning on the home turf has its advantages. It will encourage youngsters to come forward and embrace the game."

The former international said an India win will not only signal a revival at home, it will be a boost for Asian hockey. "A home team win will be a boost for the Asian style of hockey that is almost extinct as European nations dominate global hockey," he said.

Chief coach, Gregg Clarke, said, "Considerable changes (in case of a win) are expected to take place that are bound to benefit players as well as improve the game," he said.