It’s less than 24 hours before the start of the FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s Junior World Cup Bhubaneswar 2021, let’s hear what all head coaches have to say! You can find all quotes in video format here.
Europe has a healthy six countries qualified so let’s hear from our coaches:
Netherlands – Michiel van der Struijk
“We’re very happy to be here in India. We already experienced a very warm welcome at the airport, so thanks a lot for that! It’s really good that we finally can compete with the other teams in this tournament.
It’s very good for the players’ experience to play in other cultures. It’s also good for their education so that they can finally join the national Men’s team, which is what they’re all looking for. Therefore, it’s also important that we learn a lot here. And of course, we want to win the tournament!
To our friends at home: join us on Watch.Hockey, and you can experience the same as we are experiencing here, so that will be very nice. I wish everybody all the best for this World Cup!”
Poland – Jacek Adrian
“For my players and for my team, this event is a good opportunity to play with the best hockey teams in the world. Our ambition is to play good hockey. We’ll try to do our best during this tournament. And I urge our fans to cross fingers for us and to follow us on Watch.Hockey!”
Germany – Valentin Altenburg
“We came here to Bhubaneswar with the ambition to play successful and attractive.
Especially after these difficult two COVID years, my team and I are very thankful and even more motivated than ever before to compete against the friends from around the world. I believe every minute on the pitch in the next couple of weeks will make my team a better team. Also, getting to know this fascinating Indian culture will let my players grow as people of the world.
We are looking to give a celebration of hockey to our fans back in Germany. So, follow us on Watch.Hockey!”
Spain – Alejandro Siri
“Our objective is to reach the first positions of the group so that we then play for the first eight positions of the tournament.
Then, we aim to go as high as we can in the competition. For our players this is a very big tournament, so they are very excited to be here.
For our fans, watch us on Watch.Hockey!”
Belgium – Jeroen Baart
“In terms of ambitions, I think it’s clear that we all want to compete with the best. Last time [in 2016] we went to the final, so all the boys have ambitions to go very far. Let’s start with the pool games and afterwards we’ll see game-by-game.
Objectives? I think for the boys it is a fantastic opportunity to play this tournament and play different cultures and different nations, so [the objectives are to] grow inside the tournament, grow as players, grow as individuals and get the best out of them, which hopefully will give them a shot to join the Red Lions.
I think playing against different cultures and nations makes them better players; makes them understand the game better. Living and working in surroundings like this for three weeks, during the preparations and lead-up to this tournament really gave them the opportunity to live as athletes, as top sporters. It gives them maybe the flavour to go further in life.
I hope they [the fans] will all follow us and support us. I have no doubt! Let’s hope we can go very far. Follow us on Watch.Hockey!”
France – Aymeric Bergamo
“Our mission is to play each match to the best of our ability, and for that we need a lot of mental strength. We want our hockey team to get out of the group stages and, if we succeed, we will do everything in our power to continue.
My squad is particularly young and, for the most part, they don’t have any experience of high-level competition like this one. But the magic of playing hockey in India has been beneficial for French teams in the past, and this group wants to suceed together as a team.
We are going to do everything we can to make you [the fans] proud, to go as far as we can in this competition. Your energy is very important to us, so please continue to support us. Follow us on Watch.Hockey to see all of our matches.”
The FIH has confirmed that the first six days of the competition (24-30 November) will be broadcast to the global audience live and free of charge via the Watch.Hockey app. From 1–5 December, the Watch.Hockey app will be live streaming matches free of charge to all territories outside of India, Maldives, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, locations which are subject to existing broadcast rights agreements.
Photograph: Valentin Altenburg (EHF/Frank Uijlenbroek (c))