FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023: What Coaches, captains have to say?
FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup: Coaches, Captains speak
Sixteen of the world’s top hockey teams will be fighting each other to decide the new champion. Will defending champions Belgium retain its title? Will India, the hosts for the second successive time, will break the jinx and have a podium finish? Will this World Cup throw up a new champion? Will any of the former champions – the Netherlands or Germany – be back at the top of the podium?
The answer to all these questions will be known in the coming days as the mega hockey event gets underway on January 13 and continues until January 29.
The fate of the teams lies more in the hands of their coaches than their captains. Still the captains play a significant role in extracting best out of their players. What do the coaches and captains have to say about the FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023?
Here is what Coaches and Captains have to say:
David Ames, Captain (England)
“India is always an exciting place to come and play hockey. We are looking forward to playing against big teams and registering some famous victories in the tournament. I think we are a contender for the FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023 Bhubaneswar-Rourkela trophy. There is a lot of belief in our camp as everyone is confident about their abilities.
Thierry Brinkman, Captain (Netherlands)
“The last few months in the build-up to the FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023 Bhubaneswar-Rourkela have been pretty good for us. The team is completely ready for the tournament. It is amazing to be here again and we are excited to play in front of the hockey fans in the tournament.”
Jorge Dabanch, Head Coach (Chile)
“It will be interesting to play in Rourkela as they have built a new stadium here and the crowd is amazing as well. There are many top teams in the FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023 Bhubaneswar-Rourkela and we will look to register a win against these top sides in the tournament.”
Akira Takahashi, Head Coach (Japan)
“We have played in India before and are excited to be here for the FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023 Bhubaneswar-Rourkela. Our team has some good players who can play well against the top sides in the tournament and it will be a pleasure to play in front of such a big crowd. The tournament is filled with top teams and we are ready to face them and produce exciting results.”
Frederic Soyez, Head Coach (France)
“We are not looking for the title at the moment. Our team is focused on the first match of the tournament right now and then we will see where we end up. We prepared for this tournament with an aim to do better than last year and I think we have the quality to perform well against the top teams.”
Alvaro Iglesias, Captain (Spain)
“We know the stadium in Rourkela is bigger. We know there will be a lot more crowd there. It will be hard to listen to our teammates and the instructions from the referee as well. But it will be an incredibly exciting atmosphere and we are really looking forward to playing here,”
Lee Namyong, Captain (Korea)
“Our players are excited to be here and we have big ambitions in the tournament. We want to do well and have confidence that we will be able to win the big matches in FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023 Bhubaneswar-Rourkela. Our team has a lot of experience and it will be crucial for us.”
Rupert Shipperley, Captain (Wales)
“We are here to win, it’s as simple as that. We are not here to just make up the numbers, we are here to cause an upset. We are looking forward to playing India in front of their fans, it is going to be a special occasion. We have faced all the teams in our pool before and we know what to expect, we are just raring to go now.”
Greg Nicol, Head Coach (New Zealand)
“We came to Bhubaneswar not so long ago to play in the FIH Pro League and are excited to come to Odisha again for the FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023 Bhubaneswar-Rourkela. The crowd here is fantastic and our team really enjoys playing in this atmosphere, especially in the World Cup. It’s a major tournament for our sport and hopefully, we can play well and get some wins.”
Marhan Jalil, Captain (Malaysia)
“We are fully prepared for the World Cup and will look to do our best on the pitch. Our group is tough as we have teams like the Netherlands and New Zealand in it and it will be an uphill task to beat them. However, we have full belief in ourselves and the matches will be exciting for the players.”
Andre Henning, Head Coach (Germany)
“We had a strong year as we won 13 FIH Pro League matches and were between 5th and 6th in the World Rankings. So, we are looking forward to playing in the tournament and if we reach the semis that would be a big success. However, our ultimate aim is to win the World Cup trophy.”
Eddie Ockenden, Captain (Australia)
“Our players are really excited to be here and we have big ambitions in the tournament. We want to do well and have confidence that we will be able to win the FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023 Bhubaneswar-Rourkela title. Our team has a lot of experience and it will be really crucial for us.”
Cheslyn Gie, Head Coach (South Africa)
“We think the games against Australia and Argentina will definitely be the toughest for us in the FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023 Bhubaneswar-Rourkela. It is an exciting prospect for the players to have two venues, and if we get to play India it will be an experience as the whole stadium becomes very vibrant due to the fans.”
Matias Rey, Captain (Argentina)
“We take inspiration from Lionel Messi and our football team who won the FIFA World Cup in Qatar. They did a great job and we will try to repeat the same thing at the FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023 Bhubaneswar-Rourkela, it will be difficult but we are motivated and want to win the tournament and make the country proud.
Felix Denayer, Captain (Belgium)
“I think the tournament will be a challenge, but we also have the experience so we feel confident and we are very hungry to retain the trophy. We are an ambitious group. And I think we need these kinds of challenges to perform at our best level,”
Harmanpreet Singh, Captain (India)
“There is anticipation and excitement in equal measure. As the team bus entered the Rourkela city and drove closer to the hockey facility, there were thousands of fans who thronged the streets with tricolour flags and cheered for us as they welcomed us into their home town. We were simply speechless by the gesture, and it was then that we actually got a sense of how much hockey means to the people of this region.”