World Cup team may be different from Europe tour squad: Walsh

PTI| Updated: Apr 07, 2014, 20:22 PM IST

New Delhi: India chief hockey coach Terry Walsh on monday said that the team composition for next month`s World Cup may not be the same as the squad accompanying him for the preparatory tour to Europe beginning on Wednesday.

A 21-member Indian team will take part in the five build-up games in The Hague, Netherlands from April 9-19 ahead of the May 31 to June 15 World Cup, to be held in the same Dutch city.

"Trying to give equal opportunities to everyone and might be so it will not be the same squad for the World Cup," Walsh said after the training session at Major Dhyanchand Stadium here.

"We are trying to get the team perform as a unit for 5 matches which will be important. While there are opportunities for players who are going for tour and even plenty of opportunities who are staying back. Guys who are staying back will work on their areas of concern. Pressure will be on both who will be going and who stay back," he said.

Walsh said that goalkeeping was an area the team was working hard on and trying to get specialisation.

"We are doing our level best. We looked at the recently culminated National Championship final in Lucknow and there were players of good quality. Some goalkeeper`s which selectors are discussing."

Captain Sardar Singh said, "Many new techniques have been introduced during our practice session which includes lifting, ariel ball deflection and placing ball well and effectively. There is huge emphasis on fitness and goal keeping training and the understanding between us has improved a lot.

"In the past when we used to tackle a lift, we usually used to take the hockey stick back and then swing which used to result in wastage of time. Now we have learnt and put in place this problem where we tackle the lift immediately without taking the swing of the hockey back which puts us in a better position on monday."