Indian Jr hockey team to start afresh: Coach

Johor Bahru (Malaysia), Oct 7 (IANS) Indian junior hockey team coach Harendra Singh has said that his team will start afresh in the fifth Sultan of Johor Cup and the results of the past will have no bearing on the current tournament.

India won the last two editions of the six-team invitational tournament which also features Australia, Britain, Pakistan, Argentina and hosts Malaysia. This time the tournament will be held from October 11 to 18.

“We are the defending champions but in this edition, we will start fresh with new ideas. What happened in the last edition is history now and we have to perform better than other teams. Every game is important for us and we have been preparing ourselves team by team,” said Harendra.

“All the participating teams are competitive but Australia and Great Britain are quite tougher than others. We need to play an attacking game against these two teams to yield positive results. The team is confident and well prepared. We will give our best.”

The Indian team had been preparing in a month-long camp and are geared up to win the title for the third consecutive time. They will play their opener against arch-rivals Pakistan on October 11.

“We have been working hard for this tournament in the recently concluded preparation camp. The camp was productive and helped us to overcome our weaknesses in a few areas. The tournament will be exciting as there are some good teams participating,” captain Harjeet Singh said.

“We are ready for our first match against Pakistan and we don’t have any pressure to play against the Asian team. We will go match-by-match and tackle each team differently. Our aim is to gain maximum out of each match. If everything goes well as per our plan, then we will surely bring the trophy home for the third time.”

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