The goal is to play our best hockey game, says Graham Reed before facing New Zealand

The goal is to play our best hockey game, says Graham Reed before facing New Zealand

The Indian men’s hockey team is set to face New Zealand in the opening match of the FIH Men’s Professional Hockey League 2022-2023 which kicks off Friday at the famous Kalinga Hockey Stadium, which will also be the venue for FIH. Odisha Hockey Bhubaneswar-Rurquilla Men’s World Cup 2023.

Speaking about their preparation to face New Zealand in the first match, Indian men’s hockey coach Graham Reed said: “Over the past few weeks we have been busy preparing for the four matches we will be playing in the Pro League and all five matches against Australia in Adelaide in next month’s Test Series.

“All of these matches are part of our preparations for the World Cup. Our goal of course is to play our best hockey game, but we want to be better in our attack, and we want to try some new things with the way we do our attack. We are looking forward to these matches.”

In their second match, India will face Spain on October 30. The following week, India will play its second match against New Zealand on November 4 and face Spain on November 6. Captain Harmanpreet Singh, who happened to be the top scorer of the previous season in the FIH Pro League, said.

“Since the first match, we want to create the right momentum for the new season. These are very important matches for us before the big event in January,” added Harmanpreet.

Speaking about facing India at home, New Zealand coach Greg Nicholl said: “With the World Cup taking place here in the next few months, playing these away matches in the Pro League matches in Odisha is a huge plus for our players to understand the atmosphere and conditions here.

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“India consistently performs in all the major tournaments, they have done well in the Olympics and the Commonwealth Games. We have to be at the top of our game if we want to perform well against a team like India. Missing the Pro League last year was a huge setback, the international presence is very important. For us, Nicole added: “But we don’t want to look too much into the past and focus on this season, we just have to work to rise up the ranks from one of the lowest-ranked teams in the league.”

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