Heavyweights Germany Sunday arrived in the city for the upcoming men’s hockey World Cup, with hopes of repeating their 2014 triumph in the Final of the FIH Champions Trophy. Though the team had a disappointing outing last year at the men’s Hockey World League Final in the city, where they lost the bronze medal match to India, the German team is vying for the top spot at the prestigious event to begin on November 28.
Speaking on the team’s arrival, captain Florian Fuchs said, “It feels good to be back here. We have played a couple of times here and the fans are fantastic. The energy is good. Though right now we are tired after the flight, we can’t wait to get onto the pitch.” Fuchs added that the tournament will be tough and one can’t predict favourites.
“We came here to achieve something and we have the capability and the team for that. It will be quite a tough tournament considering the games are stretched to the last minute and about eight teams are evenly placed,” said Fuchs.
Germany are grouped in Pool D with Pakistan, Malaysia and the Netherlands. They begin their campaign against Pakistan on December 1. Ireland too arrived on Sunday afternoon. They are grouped in Pool B with Australia, England and China.
“We have quite a few senior players as well as youngsters. Many of them have never been to India so there is a lot of excitement among the players,” said David Harte, skipper of the team.
Ireland begin their campaign on November 30 against defending champions Australia. The Canadian national team grouped in Pool C along with India, Belgium and South Africa, too arrived early in the morning.