Paul Gannon,England junior men’s hockey coach, on Saturday said that his boys are eagerly waiting to start well at the FIH Hockey Junior World Cup, starting December 8.
“Our preparations have been good and we recently played the Johor Bahru Cup in Malaysia. We are a strong unit and we will be looking at starting the tournament with a win against South Africa so we can carry that momentum to our second game against India,” Gannon said in a statement released by Hockey India.
England are placed alongside India, Canada and South Africa in the same group. In the recent tour of England, India concluded with a 2-2 draw.
The English coach revealed his boys are ready to give India a tough hand at the tournament.
“India are a good side and we look forward to a good game against them on December 10. India are a very dominant country when it comes to world hockey and the boys are excited to play here,” he said.
Earlier in the day, India’s another pool-rival Canada also landed Lucknow and coincidentally, the team contains 12 players of Indian origin.
“It’s great to have these young boys who want to carry forward their legacy and family heritage of playing hockey. The team Captain’s grandfather has played for Uganda in the Olympics while his father has played junior hockey for Canada. And while they are of Indian origin, they take great pride in playing for Canada,” Canada junior hockey team mentor Inderpal Sehmbi said.
India are scheduled to face Canada on December 8, while England will play the hosts on December 10. Both the encounters promise to deliver the best of hockey action.