Wednesday, May 9, 2012


The Indian hockey team is well prepared to take on hosts Malaysia in the semi finals of the 7th Junior Asia Cup at the MBMB Stadium in Malacca tomorrow (Thursday) evening.

Having analysed the performances of the Malaysian team, Indian coach Baljit Singh Saini knows that they will have to fight every inch of the way in order to overcome pre-tournament favourites.

"It is not going to be easy for both sides as we are out to make out third consecutive final while Malaysia are looking at making it to the final for the first time after 20 odd years," said Baljit.

"We were at the losing side at the Sultan Johor Cup and will want to avenge that defeat as well. What better way than to deny the Malaysians a place in the final."

India's chances are further boosted with the presence of national coach Michael Nobbs who flew to Malaysia on Tuesday,  directly from London after the Olympics Test Event.

Nobbs will no doubt be passing valuable pointers to Baljit who was his assistant in the senior side until he was appointed to handle the juniors in March.

"I expect it to be a close affair and there will not be many scoring opportunities for both teams. The team that takes its chances and scores will prevail," added Baljit.

The Indian team went to the Gurudwara Sahib Melaka to seek blessings for the crucial tie.

"Spiritual help counts as it ensures that the players are focused at all times. We are happy ad thankful that the Sikh community has held a high tea for the team," said Baljit.