Bhubaneswar, November 16: Team Belgium arrived on Tuesday afternoon for the FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s Junior World Cup Bhubaneswar 2021, set to begin from November 24. Grouped in Pool A, along with teams such as Chile, Malaysia, and South Africa, Belgium was looking at strong competition right from the start.
“We have had an intense period with lots of training together combined with a very busy club competition. Finding a good balance between training together and playing for your club was vital for us to prepare well. We had a good friendly tournament in July 2021 in Spain and we hope to make the next steps here in Bhubaneswar,” asserted Jeroen Baart, Head Coach of Belgium.
Speaking on the team’s excitement to be in Bhubaneswar, Belgium captain Dylan Englebert said, “We are very excited. I know a lot of players have had pictures of the stadium as the lock screen of their phones. It has been a dream to come here and play at the biggest stadium of hockey. It will be the first time we will be playing in such a big stadium, so we are very excited.”
Belgium will begin their campaign in the tournament on November 24 against South Africa. When asked about the top contenders for the marquee event, coach Baart said, “India will be, of course, a force to watch playing at home with the qualities they have.”
“We know Germany and Spain well and know that these are teams to watch. Never underestimate the Dutch team! Maybe the last one to mention is Argentina that can always be a dangerous opponent in a tournament like this,” he concluded.
Hockey-India: The first 6 Match Days (24th – 30th November 2021)
Star India: The last 5 match Days (1st – 5th December 2021)
About the event:
The FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s Junior World Cup Bhubaneswar 2021 will be the 12th edition of the biggest tournament in U-21 Men’s Hockey. This is the third consecutive time that India is hosting the prestigious tournament, which took place in New Delhi in 2013 and in Lucknow in 2016. A total of sixteen nations will take part. Hosts and defending champions India are grouped in pool B along with Canada, France and Poland. The other teams in the fray include Belgium, Malaysia, South Africa and Chile in pool A, Netherlands, Spain, Korea and United States grouped in pool C while Germany, Argentina, Pakistan and Egypt in Pool D.
Each team is set to play three matches during the league stage over a period of five days. This will be followed by a series of cross-over matches, due to take place on 30 November, followed by knockout matches from 1 December, with a final to decide the champions scheduled for 5 December.