New Delhi, Jan 11 : Playing against India at their home ground is always challenging no doubt but it is also very exciting because we love playing in Bhubaneswar expressed Netherlands Chief Coach Max Caldas. India will take on the Netherlands in the FIH Hockey Pro League opener on January 18 and 19 at the Kalinga Hockey Stadium in Bhubaneswar.
Currently based in Kuala Lumpur in preparation for their FIH Hockey Pro League opener, Max Caldas didn't mince his words when he emphasised on the importance of getting off to a good start in the League where they finished third last year behind winners Australia and Runners-up Belgium.
While the matches between India and the Netherlands have always been nerve-wrenching, the last one being the quarter-final at the 2018 Men's World Cup where India lost 1-2, the matches on January 18 and 19 will be further more closely contested, as India's Chief Coach Graham Reid and Netherlands Caldas being well-aware of their on-ground tactics.
"Graham is a very experienced Coach and he is very clear about the process and the kind of hockey he expects from the players. I expect India to be as competitive as always and playing in Odisha, they will be very good," he added. "The players and combinations we wanted to test were experimented during the previous edition of Pro League. This edition we will have our most competitive team as this will be the stepping stone for us to be the best at Tokyo," Caldas said.
However, he also added that they will be cautious in planning the next six months to ensure their players are in the best shape despite being busy with the FIH Hockey Pro League and Domestic Leagues back in the Netherlands. (UNI)