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Podium finish at Jr WC is a realistic target, says Harendra

Press Trust of India  |  Bengaluru 

Indian junior men's hockey team coach Harendra Singh feels his wards have made good progress in the recent past and the hosts have great chance to finish on the podium in the FIH Junior World Cup to be held in Lucknow from December 8-18.

"I think we have made good progress in the build up to the World Cup. The Australian Hockey League (AHL) was a great exposure for the team where we played some really strong teams and reached the semifinal stage. This has given the boys good confidence and the way we are moving forward, a podium finish at the World Cup is a realistic goal," said Harendra at the SAI centre here today.

Ahead of the the Indian colts' departure to Valencia for a four-nation tournament from October 24 to October 30, Harendra was pleased with his players performance in the lead up to the mega-event.

The Indian colts recently participated in the (AHL) where they lost to NSW Waratahs in the bronze medal play-off.

With just about 50 days to go for the junior World Cup, Harendra wants to make the most of the Valencia tour where the team will face tough competition from European teams such as 2013 Junior World Champions Germany, Belgium and hosts Spain.

"Valencia is a crucial tournament for us in terms of improving our tactical skills and to rectify the mistakes we had committed in Australia during the AHL," he said.

Harendra said the final squad for the junior World Cup will be decided after the tour of Valencia.

"We have more or less decided the core group of players but based on the performance in Valencia, we will be sure of the players who will make the cut for World Cup," he concluded.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, October 18 2016. 16:57 IST