The team had finished third in 2005 and wish to improve that performance
Lucknow: The Spanish national hockey team arrived in the city on Monday looking upbeat ahead of the Uttar Pradesh Hockey Junior World Cup Men Lucknow 2016 slated to begin on December 8.
The Spaniards had finished 13th in the previous World Cup in New Delhi and their best performance came in 2005 when they finished third in this prestigious event. "We want to change that and hope to make use of this opportunity to do better than the 2005 result. The players are upbeat and eager to go back with great experience here in India," stated Coach Roger Pallarols.
Spain feature in the same pool as defending champions Germany, Japan and New Zealand. "Our pool is quite difficult as we play the defending champions Germany, Japan and New Zealand. While they are tough teams, our team is very technical and mentally strong," he added.
Meanwhile team Captain Enrique Gonzalez de Castejon wants his team to enjoy the tournament as it's a once in a lifetime opportunity. "We are very excited to be here. You live to play the junior world cup just once in your life and you better make that count and enjoy while you are here. It's a great atmosphere here in India to play hockey in front of big crowds and we are eager to begin our first game," Enrique said. Spain begin their World Cup campaign on December 8 against Germany.
He further added that the team has been working together for two years. "The team has been together for two years now but a lot of us play domestic leagues in Spain so we end up meeting every weekends. In the past six months we have met four or five times as a team to play against Pakistan, Scotland, Portugal and now for the past week we have been training in Barcelona," he added.
Monday also saw a line-up of practice games between Canada Vs Argentina, England Vs Japan, Belgium Vs Australia, Germany Vs South Africa and Netherlands Vs India. On Tuesday, Malaysia national team will arrive in Lucknow.