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Indian men's hockey team depart for European leg of FIH Pro League, to face Argentina in first match

Published at :May 14, 2024 at 12:54 PM
Modified at :May 14, 2024 at 12:54 PM
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(Courtesy : Hockey India)

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The Indian Men’s Hockey Team will face Argentina and Belgium before travelling to London in the FIH Pro League.

The Indian Men’s Hockey Team left for Antwerp, Belgium in the early hours of Tuesday morning for the Europe leg of the FIH Hockey Pro League 2023/24 where the winner of this season will be determined. India, currently placed third in the points table, behind table toppers Netherlands and Australia, will take on hosts Belgium and Argentina in Antwerp between 22nd May to 26th May followed by matches against Germany and Great Britain from 1st June to 9th June in London. 

While Indian Men’s Hockey Team will be vying to finish the prestigious league with top honours, they will also be focused on eliminating any chinks in their armour ahead of the Olympic Games in Paris starting this July. “The team is quite excited to get back on the road again for yet another challenging outing where we will take on world’s best teams in the FIH Hockey Pro League,” expressed Captain Harmanpreet Singh ahead of the team’s departure. 

“We will be travelling on the back of a very intense training camp at SAI, Bengaluru over the past few weeks where we focused on our conditioning and played intra-squad matches regularly. The team is shaping well and the Pro League is an important event for us to iron out the flaws in our execution ahead of the Olympics,” asserted the ace dragflicker. 

Also Read: ‘It’s a new challenge for me’ – Hockey midfielder Mohammed Raheel Mouseen reflects on his preparation for 2024 Paris Olympics 

Harmanpreet further emphasized that the matches in Antwerp and London will not only give insights into their own game and how they are faring as a unit but the matches will also provide them insights into the opponents’ game against whom they will be fighting for a spot in the Semi-Finals at Paris 2024. “We have Belgium and Argentina in our pool at the Olympics along with Australia, Ireland and New Zealand. We play Belgium and Argentina both in Antwerp. We are also trying out the best combinations before the final squad is selected for the Olympics. Hence, the Pro League outing is crucial in our preparations for Paris as well as for players to make it to the 16-member squad for Paris,” added Harmanpreet, who currently is among the top 3 highest goal scorers this season with six goals.

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The Indian Men’s Hockey Team will begin their European leg on 22nd May with their opening match against Argentina, followed by back-to-back matches against Belgium on 23rd and 25th May. They will take on Argentina again on 26th May before moving on to the final leg in London where they play Germany on 1st and 8th June and take on hosts Great Britain on 2nd and 9th June. “In the past few seasons of the Pro League, we have finished at third position. It will be great to finish on top this time and we are quite optimistic about it,” the Captain signed off.

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