New Delhi: While the senior Indian hockey team is gearing up in Delhi for the Azlan Shah Trophy, the juniors have a more onerous task at hand. They will travel to Holland next month to defend their World Cup title.They also know nothing less than the gold medal will satisfy the hockey fans back home."We can score goals if we convert penalty corners. So scoring and getting maximum penalty corners is a priority to be able to put maximum pressure on the opposition," said Harendra Singh, coach, Indian junior hockey team. "We are working on that. And when we are attacking, defence should follow the attack," added Singh.Singh's hopes of converting penalty corners are pinned on Sandeep Singh, the team's drag-flick specialist.Compared to the seniors, the Indian junior team has fewer complications to deal with. Fitness buzzwordThey know who their coach is with no star egos and tensions between players to deal with. These are all good signs as India plans its strategy to defend its title at Rotterdam.Apprehensive that other teams may resort to rough play against the defending champions, fitness is the buzzword at this 45-day camp."In terms of physical structure, we are poor. But we are trying to develop the strength in the skills, where they can execute the skill in terms of speed and explosive movements,'' said Saju Joseph, trainer, Indian junior Hockey Team.The juniors aren't playing just for the World Cup. With a number of places up for grabs in the senior team the boys know the gold medal in Holland will mean the best among them can join the men in blue.
Topics : Hockey