Watch out for Mandeep, Manpreet: Dutch manager
New Delhi: Dutch former hockey star Floris Evers stated Monday that the Indian junior team will be a tough nut to crack in the Junior World Cup that will be played here at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium Dec 6-15.
Evers, who is a manager here with the Netherlands team, has seen the Indian players in the inaugural Hockey India League (HIL), where he played with the champion team Ranchi Rhinos.
India will open their campaign in Pool C with the Netherlands, who were runners-up last time, on the first day and Evers, a two-time Olympic silver medallist (2004, 2012), feels the Dutch team is well prepared for the opening encounter.
"I am waiting to see my friends from Ranchi Rhinos. Here I am a team manager and my job is to share my experiences and guide them to give their best game during the tournament. The players in this team have the speed and are good with the technical aspect of the game and we are confident for our opening match," said Evers after a practice session here.
Evers picked up his Ranchi Rhinos team-mates Manpreet Singh and Mandeep Singh as "the players to watch out for."
"They are my friends and I am waiting to meet them here. I am hoping that Mandeep plays as well as he did in the HIL last year. For me, the toughest players in the Indian side are these two and I hope we see the clash between Indian and Netherlands in the finals. The young Indian side is a tough team," he said.
Dutch Sjoerd Marijne said all teams are strong and any one can win.
"The Dutch team is very tough and stable and we are geared up for the challenge for the tournament. All the teams are strong and anyone can win the match on the given day. The boys are confident about their first match with India and we aim to start this tour with the winning shot," he said.