Playing its first ever World Cup, the Chile squad is excited for what lies ahead in the FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023 Bhubaneswar-Rourkela.
The team led by Fernando Renz reached Bhubaneswar on Thursday for their final preparations, before setting out for Rourkela, where it will play their opening match of the tournament against New Zealand on January 14.
Chile captain Renz felt that his team has been playing together for four years and was ‘really tough to beat’. “We have a good mixture of young and senior players in our squad. Our team is really good and we have been playing together for four years. So, we are a team that is really tough to beat and will be doing our best in the World Cup.”
The team is placed in Pool C along with the Netherlands, Malaysia and New Zealand. After making its tournament debut, Chile takes on Malaysia on January 16, in Rourkela, and round up its group stage campaign against the Netherlands on January 19 in Bhubaneswar.
Fernando Renz also touched upon the challenges expected to face in the World Cup. “This is our first time in the Men’s Hockey World Cup. We qualified for the FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023 Bhubaneswar-Rourkela in Santiago, Chile almost a year back and since then, we have been preparing for this prestigious tournament.”
He added, “We knew that we will be playing huge games here in India. As you all know, we have a tough group and will be up against teams like the Netherlands, Malaysia and New Zealand. Every game will be very tough for us but we have been preparing for this tournament the whole year, so, we know we are going to do our best in the competition.”
Meanwhile, Head Coach Jorge Dabanch is wary of the challenge top teams such as the Netherlands pose for Chile, and said, “There are many top teams in the FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023 Bhubaneswar-Rourkela and of course hosts India are one of them as well. Australia, Belgium and the Netherlands will be tough teams to beat and we will look to register a win against these top sides in the tournament.”
“We have a very big heart and we will fight for every match. I believe that tactically our team is really good and we are excited to see the kind of challenges we will face in the World Cup.”