Speaking to European teams for friendlies ahead of WC: Graham Reid

22 October,2021 07:13 AM IST |  Bangalore  |  PTI

India were handed a relatively easy pool, but Reid, who coached the senior team to a historic bronze medal in the Tokyo Olympics, warned the juniors against complacency.

Graham Reid. Pic/PTI



The senior Indian men's hockey team chief coach Graham Reid on Thursday said the junior side should play some practice matches against quality opponents before it starts the defence of its FIH Junior World Cup title in Bhubaneswar next month.

Emphasising on the importance of playing practice games, Reid, who is overseeing India's preparation for the event to be held from November 25 to December 5, said he is trying to arrange a few matches against some participating European nations. "What is important for us is to get some good practice matches in Bhubaneswar so the players get a feel of the pitch and I am talking to coaches of some European teams to see if we can play friendlies with them when they arrive in Bhubaneswar."

India were handed a relatively easy pool, but Reid, who coached the senior team to a historic bronze medal in the Tokyo Olympics, warned the juniors against complacency.

India, who won the last edition of the event in 2016 at Lucknow, are grouped alongside France, Canada and Poland in Pool ‘B'.

Reid said the players must focus on one match at a time and not think too far ahead. "No team can be taken lightly in an event like the World Cup. I always tell the players to take it one match at a time and not get ahead of ourselves at any point in the tournament until we have achieved what we have set out for," the Australian said in a statement issued by Hockey India.

India will begin their campaign against France on November 24 at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar, followed by matches against Canada (November 25) and Poland (November 27).

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