Netherlands wary of 'dangerous' Indians

The Netherlands stand tall in the Pool C of Hockey Junior World Cup, which also includes hosts India, Korea and Canada. Nevertheless, the Dutch insisted they were not looking beyond their opening match against the “tough” Indian team and said they were eager to start off with a win.

The side has Floris Evers, a two-time Olympic silver medallist, as its new manager. Evers has played for Ranchi Rhinos, a team that also included Mandeep Singh and Manpreet Singh, during the Hockey India League and his inputs could prove vital to the side.
“Yes I know some of the players and I will surely give them my inputs if they want. India is really a strong, tough squad. It will be a difficult one for us. You don’t win a tournament if you don’t win the first match. India would want to win too. I dream of an India-Holland final,” Evers told reporters on Monday.

“Our team is shaping up really well. We don’t have one or two top star players, but a lot of good players, so one day one guy will be good and the other day the other guy will be good. I am looking forward to how we do under pressure.”

Asked to name his favourite for the tournament, Evers found it hard to pick one. “We have a team that can win, and then there is Germany, Belgium, Argentina. We will like to make the finals first.”

Dutch coach Sjoerd Marijne felt India would come out highly motivated and they would need to be on guard. “It is a home match for India and it will be difficult for us. They are highly motivated. We played them three times in the summer, lost two and one was a draw.

“But we have a lot of speed. Dutch players are creative. But the under-21 players in any team are not always stable. The team that will be most stable will have the best chances in the tournament.”

The Netherlands’ captain Roel Bovendeert said his team had proved itself in the test matches.

“We have had a good preparation. We are getting used to the weather and the stadium. We have a good team that has proved itself in test matches. We have to take little steps in the tournament. We have a tough pool. It will be good to come through,” he said.

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