FIH Pro League: Belgium expects ‘good fight’ from India

Thomas Briels, the Belgium captain, says his team is wary of the threat India possesses.

Briels...“We expect a tough couple of matches [with India].”   -  Biswaranjan Rout

Belgium captain Thomas Briels is expecting a tough challenge from India in the upcoming two FIH Hockey Pro League matches at the Kalinga Hockey Stadium scheduled to be played on Saturday and Sunday.

“India is looking really sharp as well, and they have been playing well which is something we saw in their initial two matches against the Dutch. We expect a tough couple of matches, and it’s going to be a good fight for us as well,” said Briels after his team’s arrival in the city on Wednesday.

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“Of course, we are wary of the threat that they possess, but we are really excited to play a tough opponent like India so we can improve further before the Olympics.”

Table topper

Having already tasted success in their matches against former World No. 1 Australia and World No. 8 New Zealand with victories, World No. 1 Belgium currently sits atop the points table with 11 points, while India is currently fifth with five points from its two matches which it played against the Dutch in January.

Briels also said that the tournament serves it well in its preparations for the Olympics. “I think the FIH Hockey Pro League is a really good competition for us to take part in, right before the Olympic Games. It gives us time to prepare ourselves well, and also face tough competition along the way.”

“We have started the competition well, and want to make sure we keep the momentum. The team is really working hard, and we had some hard training sessions in Australia as well before arriving here,” said the veteran.

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