Germany determined to retain junior World hockey crown

New Delhi, Dec 2: Germany are determined to defend their title and extend their record to six in the Junior Hockey World Cup at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium here Dec 6-15.

Germany are in Pool A with Pakistan, who were champions in the inaugural edition in 1979, Belgium and Egypt.

Coach Andre Henning said India, Pakistan, Belgium, Australia and the Netherlands are the strong teams and the ones to watch out for.

“We have watched the game of India and have realised they are a strong team. We understand that hockey is very big in India and many players for the senior team come out of this tournament. But we have studied the teams and will play our game accordingly on the day,” said Henning.

Captain Roel Bovendeert said it was a pleasure for him to lead a strong team.

“Pakistan and Belgium are the teams to watch out for. When we play against India we are aware that the crowd will be on their side hence it becomes very critical to have a control of the ball. Once we have the ball in our control the crowd itself will subside and we will take advantage of that situation. Thanks to the senior coaches who have guided us and made sure that we have a strong team and ready to face the opponents in the upcoming series,” he said.

Germany come into this tournament not only as the defending champions but also as the most successful nation in the competition’s history with five wins to their name. They won four titles on a row — 1983, 1985, 1989, 1993 and bagged their fifth in 2009.

Germany, who also have won the last two Olympic titles, are surely be among the tournament front-runners. They managed a third place finish at last year’s EuroHockey Junior Nations Championship and this time they are eager to defend their crown.

IANS