India upbeat ahead of Junior World Cup

Ten days away from India's opening match in the Junior World Cup, team mentor Roelant Oltmans said the focus was on goal-scoring tactics.

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India's mentor Roelant Oltmans is confident about his boys ahead of the Junior World Cup.   -  K. Murali Kumar

Ten days away from its tournament opener in the Junior Hockey World Cup here, India is focussing on goal scoring tactics, said the team’s mentor Roelant Oltmans.

India will face Canada in its opening Pool D match on December 8 at the Major Dhyan Chand Hockey Stadium here, and Oltmans, a hard task master, is leaving no stone unturned to prepare the team for the mega-event.

"We tried different tactics, including player positioning within the circle for goal scoring. The boys are upbeat and focused. We will be playing a practice match against Argentina on December 2 and further fine tune our game," said Oltmans.

The Dutchman, who is the chief coach of the national men’s team, added that the players are getting used to the new turf at the Major Dhyan Chand Hockey Stadium, the main venue for the event which will host all 44 matches of the tournament.

"We have trained on this pitch for the past five days and the boys are getting used to the new turf. It is similar to the turf back in SAI (Sports Authority of India), Bengaluru where the boys have been based for almost 10 months," Oltmans said.

India will play its second practice game on December 5 against Netherlands.