16 member team is almost ready to fight for top honours at the FIH Odisha Hockey Men's Junior World Cup Bhubaneswar 2021.
The match is scheduled to begin on 24 November. All four teams in their respective pools will be aiming to finish in the top half of their pool.
As the top two teams from each pool will qualify for the Quarter Final of the tournament.
"India will be, of course, a force to watch playing at home with the qualities they have," Belgium Coach Jeroen Baart said on arrival.
Speaking about the iconic Kalinga Stadium,Malaysia Head Coach Wallace Tan expressed his concern.
He said "Our team is very excited to play at the Kalinga Stadium. As it is a very big and respected stadium. Many big tournaments have been held here.And many legends have played here, so it will be an honour to play here."
South Africa Head Coach Sihle Ntuli picked Belgium to be toughest team in the group stage.
In our group, we have Malaysia, Belgium and Chile. I would think Belgium would be our toughest opponent. They are previous finalists, so we know it will be a difficult game. But we also think all the games will be difficult," he said.
Chile Captain Nicolás Abujatum said, "We were a part of the Pan-American Championship.That was a big part of our preparations. We are excited to play at Kalinga Stadium, as most of us have not played in such a great stadium."
Defending Champions India are placed in Group B, along with Canada, France, and Poland, who all arrived to Bhubaneswar to battle it out for the title in the past week.
The India Colts, led by captain Vivek Sagar Prasad, will be looking to retain the prestigious trophy. As they take centre stage on their home turf. "Our team became the Champions in 2016 and now our team's aim is to continue to perform in a similar manner." Said Vivek, part of India's historic Bronze-medal winning performance at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
"While we did not have overseas competition, the teams played some practice games against the senior team in Bhubaneswar. That were quite valuable. Since arriving in Bhubaneswar, we have been getting used to the stadium. The Kalinga Hockey Stadium is truly iconic. It's good that we are getting to train here before we start," India Men Chief Coach Graham Reid added on the team's preparations.
"Our preparation for the event was not very long. The weather in Poland is completely different, it is very cold, especially in winters. But we tried to do the best we could do, and I think we will play our best hockey here," Poland Head Coach Jacek Adrian said.