Junior World Cup: Egyptian hockey needs to win over fans to increase popularity, says coach

Abu Talib Maggid, the head coach of Egypt in the ongoing Hockey Junior World Cup, shared his ideas about why the northern African nation has struggled to make an impact in the sport.

Egypt has made nine appearances in the men’s Hockey Junior World Cup (JWC), including the one in 1997 in Milton Keynes, where it achieved its best performance of a ninth-place finish.   -  HOCKEY INDIA

Egypt has made nine appearances in the men’s Hockey Junior World Cup (JWC), including the one in 1997 in Milton Keynes, where it achieved its best performance of a ninth-place finish. However, Egypt has never played in a senior World Cup.

Abu Talib Maggid, the head coach of Egypt in the ongoing JWC at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar, shared his ideas about why the northern African nation has struggled to make an impact in the sport.

“We miss the process. It cannot happen overnight. This is a junior team. You have to invest and wait for the result to come. We have played in two Olympics (1992 and 2004) but no senior World Cups,” Maggid said during an interaction with Sportstar.

Junior Hockey World Cup: India defeats Poland to qualify for quarterfinals

Manpreet Singh: Asian Champions Trophy a good platform to test younger players  

“Africa has one place in the senior World Cup and two places in the Junior World Cup. This could be one of the reasons (why we have played in so many JWCs). We have to be the strongest in Africa to get into the World Cup. Once we get into the World Cup, we can qualify again and again.”

Egypt had the ignominy of suffering one of the biggest defeats in the current JWC when it lost 0-14 in its Pool D match against Argentina. However, Maggid took lessons from the crushing defeat and guided his team to better performance, a 1-3 loss, against Pakistan.

“This is the first-ever foreign exposure for them. This is a promising team. Our players will get six matches in the JWC. They will learn match by match,” said Maggid.

“The current situation is unusual due to Covid. We could barely do 14 practice sessions. We left some players in Egypt. The bigger squad will be there for the 2023 JWC. Fifteen players will be able to play in the Junior Africa Cup. The preparation will be tough. In two-three years, this will prove to be a very good build-up for (producing) more senior players for the national team.”

Maggid said the hockey fraternity needs to win over fans to increase its popularity in his country.

For more updates, follow Sportstar on :