Bhubaneswar: The World No.1, the Netherlands men’s hockey team arrived in Bhubaneswar, Odisha on Sunday ahead of the crucial cluster of matches for FIH Hockey Pro League 2023/24 in India.
The FIH Hockey Pro League 2023/24 (men) is scheduled to take place at the Kalinga Hockey Stadium in Bhubaneswar from February 10 to 16, before moving to the Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium in Rourkela, where the league will continue from February 19 to 25.
Five national teams – Ireland, The Netherlands, India, Spain and Australia -– will participate in the India leg of the FIH Hockey Pro League 2023/24 (men), facing each other once in Bhubaneswar and once in Rourkela.
The Netherlands will play their first match of the FIH Hockey Pro League on February 10 against Ireland, followed by the highly-anticipated contest against hosts India on the next day. They will then take on Spain on February 13 and Australia on February 16, before heading to Rourkela.
“The preparations have been going really well. We have done a great job in training sessions. The guys have done a good job. We love to be in India and there is a good team spirit among all of us. We are excited for the campaign to begin,” the Netherlands’ captain Thierry Brinkman said after landing in Bhubaneswar.
Asked about their toughest opponents on the tour, Brinkman added: “We are curious about Australia, they could be tough opponents for us. Of course, facing India in front of their home crowd will be a challenge, especially in stadiums as vast as the ones in Bhubaneswar and Rourkela. So, we are looking forward to those tough battles.”
“With the Paris Olympics 2024 coming up, this is an important tour for us to test ourselves against strong teams. We hope to have a good tournament,” Brinkman signed off.