Pro League matches vital for Paris Olympics preparations: Fulton

| | Rourkela
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Pro League matches vital for Paris Olympics preparations: Fulton

Monday, 19 February 2024 | PTI | Rourkela

Indian men’s hockey team chief coach Craig Fulton on Sunday said the ongoing FIH Pro League matches are vital to his team’s preparation for the Paris Olympics scheduled for July-August.

The Indians have so far played four matches in the Pro League out, winning three and losing one against the mighty Australia.

“It (Pro League) gives us 18 games that you are looking in the build up to Paris. So it is important. Whether some teams are putting their strongest teams or not is out of our control,” Fulton said during a virtual press conference.

“Everything we are looking forward to is to have more perspective about our game, develop our game with the squad we have.

“We know we can compete in all the games, in different phases we have to different things and do them better. So the Pro League is really important for now because this is the only competition we have”.

India captain Harmanpreet Singh too agreed with his coach.

“These are the major matches we are getting before the Olympics and they are very important for us. We started on a good note but as the coach said from the Australia game we have learnt a lot,” he said.

“We will definitely get a lot of advantage by playing these matches. Before the Olympics these are the games we are getting and we had made a good start as well and these matches will definitely help us in Olympics.”

India had a tough time against a resilient Ireland on Friday before securing a narrow a 1-0 win in the final quarter.

“We played them (Ireland) after a long time, it was a totally different game. We have learnt a lot from that match. Ball possession was mostly with us but they defended quite deep and we need to work on how to manage that before the next match,” Harmanpreet said.

Coach Fulton emphasised on the need to have consistency in their performance.

“Obviously the Australia game was big learning curve for us. We just need to put up a bit more consistent and composure in what we do. The start was good and the finish was was good but the competition is strong.

“India have a DNA of attacking hockey, of possession and the Irish have a defensive mindset. Every country has different way of playing because of culture cultural or philosophy. That’s the beauty of playing international sport.”

India will next play Netherlands on February 21.

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