Challenge is to keep winning streak intact in Europe leg of Pro League: Rohidas

Bengaluru: Experienced defender Amit Rohidas feels the biggest challenge for the Indian men’s hockey team going forward is to keep up the winning momentum in its Europe leg of the ongoing FIH Pro League.

Having finished a creditable third last season, India are currently leading the FIH Pro League standings with 19 points from eight games, which includes their magnificent show in Rourkela last month where they remained unbeaten against world champions Germany and Australia.

The Indians will now travel to Europe in May-June, where they will take on Belgium and Great Britain in London followed by a short trip to Eindhoven where they play Argentina and hosts Netherlands.

“Last time we finished third in the league. In the FIH Hockey Pro League, we have typically done well at home but the challenge is when we play abroad and this time, we aim to keep up the winning streak when the matches move to Europe,” Rohidas said in a Hockey India release.

The 39-member core group is currently taking part in a national camp at the SAI centre here.

After the Pro League games in London and Eindhoven which end in June, the Indian team will return home to prepare for the Hero Asian Champions Trophy to be held in Chennai from August 3 to 12, followed by the Hangzhou Asian Games.

“No doubt it’s going to be an exciting period for hockey with major tournaments coming up. After the Asian Games, we will start the next season of Pro League and then there’s the Hockey 5s World Cup as well so in that sense, there is a lot of hockey coming up right until the Paris Olympics,” the Olympic bronze medallist player said.

“It’s also a good thing that we have a strong core group with youngsters getting a chance to play in top tournaments. This ensures that we have an experienced pool of players who are waiting for a call-up to perform.”