Comfortably placed a the top the points table, Jaypee Punjab Warriors would be hoping to consolidate their position when they take on Uttar Pradesh Wizards in a league match of the third Hero Hockey India League (HIL), here tomorrow.
Notwithstanding the absence of a regular national hockey coach since the exit of Australia's Terry Walsh, selector Arjun Halappa sounded upbeat here about the Indian squad's future following its good show over the last year-and-a-half.
If everything goes according to plan, Indian men's hockey team is expected to get a new foreign coach within a month, that is by the time the third season of Hockey India League (HIL) starts on January 22.
High Performance Director Roelant Oltmans feels Indian hockey team is on the cusp of making history but said to achieve that Sardar Singh and Co will have to give their 100 per cent against arch-rivals Pakistan in the Hero Champions Trophy semifinals on Saturday.
Having masterminded Belgium's ouster from the Champions Trophy Hockey tournament with a perfect strategy, India's high performance director Roelant Oltmans is eyeing many such encounters before the team gets ready for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Senior Indian defender Birendra Lakra is a doubtful starter in tomorrow's crucial quarterfinal clash against fourth-ranked Belgium as he is yet to recover from his back injury, said India's High Performance Director Roelant Oltmans.
India's High Performance Director Roelant Oltmans on Sunday held his defenders responsible for their second consecutive defeat in the Hero Champions Trophy stating that the hosts' backline just crumbled under Argentina's counter-attacks encounter in the final 15 minutes of the game here.
The Champions Trophy is regarded as the third most important hockey tournament after Olympics and the World Cup, but almost all the eight participating teams in the ongoing edition here have fielded relatively young squads to "develop" their bench strength for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
India's High Performance Director Roelant Oltmans on Tuesday said the hosts are determined to give a tough fight to their opponents and are geared up to face world no. 3 Germany in their opening match of the FIH Champions Trophy to be held here from December 6-14.
Terry Walsh's sudden exit as Indian hockey team's chief coach seems to have left a long lasting effect on the players, who said they were missing the Australian's services ahead of the FIH Champions Trophy.
Discharging duel responsibility in a crucial tournament is not a new thing for Indian hockey's High Performance Director Roelant Oltmans whose primary focus now is to prepare the team as best as he can for the Champions Trophy in the absence of just-retired coach Terry Walsh.
The three-member panel formed to look into the demands of Terry Walsh to stay on as the chief coach of the national hockey team could not arrive at a decision on the issue on Friday and fixed another meeting on Monday.
Indian hockey's high performance director Roelant Oltmans says the team's series win over Australia is a positive sign but repeating the feat against the World Champions in the upcoming Champions Trophy will determine the squad's progress.