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Manpreet Singh optimistic of Indian success in Argentina

After having remained unbeaten during its tour of Europe, the Indian team can look forward to another successful hockey tour, says captain Manpreet.

Its morale high after remaining undefeated during its tour of Europe, the Indian men’s hockey team left for a competition trip to Argentina on Wednesday.

Captain Manpreet Singh is optimistic of a strong show against the reigning Olympic champion.

The 22-member Indian squad left for Buenos Aires from here this morning for its second outing in 2021.

“Not playing competitive hockey for over a year has been a big setback but this is something every team in the world is facing due to the pandemic,” Manpreet said in a communique issued by Hockey India.

The six-match tour against host Argentina includes four games besides back-to-back FIH Hockey Pro League matches on April 11 and 12. “Though I missed out the Europe tour due to personal reasons, I was closely following the matches and it was very encouraging to see how the team performed against Germany and Great Britain. We are looking forward to yet another unbeaten tour,” Manpreet stated.

‘Great opportunity

The tour is largely being viewed as an exposure for the team as it prepares for the Tokyo Olympics. Manpreet believes it will be a great opportunity for the youngsters to prove themselves in the lead up to the Games.

“Quite a few youngsters have been selected in the squad for this tour and I believe this will be a great opportunity for them to show their mettle against a top-quality team. Every opportunity we are getting in these challenging times is like a blessing and we need to make the most of it,” he said.

Speaking about his personal goals, Manpreet said, “It has been a tough year for all of us. I think personally for me, overcoming COVID last year was more of a mental battle than anything else. I was off hockey for nearly six weeks, but I was very fortunate to receive the best care, thanks to the efforts of Hockey India and SAI. Over these past few months, I have put in a lot of hard work to return to my earlier form. This tour will not only be a good occasion for the team to assess our performance but also personally for me to understand the areas I need to improve individually too.”

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