NZ hockey players to leave for India on Monday: Coach

Updated: 21 February 2010 12:39 IST

New Zealand team will leave for India tomorrow to participate in the hockey World Cup despite the security concerns, Coach Shane McLeod said.

NZ hockey players to leave for India on Monday: Coach

Perth :

New Zealand team will leave for India tomorrow to participate in the hockey World Cup despite the security concerns, Coach Shane McLeod said.

McLeod conceded some players are still to be talked out to go to India but confirmed the team would depart as scheduled tomorrow, according to a New Zealand Press Association report.

"The New Zealand men's hockey team will run the gauntlet of terrorist threats and compete as planned at the World Cup in India, although some players have expressed concerns to management. They would depart as scheduled and take their place in pool A," the report said quoting McLeod.

New Zealand completed their World Cup here preparations with a 2-4 loss to world number two Australians on Friday - a drastic improvement from their 1-7 loss in the first match on Wednesday.

The report said some unnamed players needed to be convinced it was safe to travel to New Delhi after al-Qaeda warned that the World Cup, cricket's Indian Premier League and the Commonwealth Games were potential targets.

"We still have a couple (of players) we'll talk to on a one-to-one basis just to make sure they're in the right place and willing to go," McLeod said.

"To my knowledge there's no one that's not going," he added.

McLeod is hopeful that the players would feel more comfortable once they arrived in New Delhi and realised the extent of security measures in place at the Indian capital.

"It has been a huge distraction. You want to concentrate solely on the hockey and to have that in the background is not ideal. We're doing everything we can to keep the focus on the hockey," said McLeod.

The report also said that Hockey New Zealand has players on standby - in the event of injury - and if members of the 17-man squad opt against boarding the plane they can be replaced.

Sports psychologist Paul Smith, who has been here in a managerial capacity, has been dealing with players worried about the trip.

"He's got alongside what we consider 'red flag' players, the one's that have concerns just to make sure they have an avenue to talk about and deal with it," McLeod said.

New Zealand, ranked eighth in the world, are also grouped in Pool A with Holland, South Korea, Argentina and world number one Germany.



Topics : Hockey
Related Articles
India, Pakistan in Same Pool of Hockey World League Semi-Final 2017
India, Pakistan in Same Pool of Hockey World League Semi-Final 2017
PHF Mulls Legal Action Against FIH Over Junior Hockey World Cup Expulsion
PHF Mulls Legal Action Against FIH Over Junior Hockey World Cup Expulsion
Pakistan Slams FIH's Decision To Dump Junior Hockey Team From World Cup In India
Pakistan Slams FIH's Decision To Dump Junior Hockey Team From World Cup In India
Show Comments
Advertisement