Aiming for top-4 finish: Sardar Singh

New Delhi, Jan 8 (IANS) India captain Sardar Singh Wednesday said they are looking for a top-4 finish at the Hockey World League Final to be played at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium here Jan 10-18.

The tournament will feature some of the best teams of the world including reigning Olympic champions Germany and World Champions Australia besides the Netherlands, England, Belgium, Argentina, New Zealand and hosts India.
It will be India’s newly-appointed coach Terry Walsh’s first assignment with the national team.
“We have the world’s best coaches and hockey completely depends on the technique. We are having good training sessions and will try to give our best. We are aiming for a top-4 finish in the tournament,” Sardar said after unveiling the event trophy here.
“This tournament will give us good experience and exposure as it is a new event. We are lucky that the final round is being held in India. We have a young team which is improving day-by-day. Our month long camp in Bhopal helped the players improve their performance a lot.”
India have been placed with Australia, Netherlands and Germany in Group A and will face a tough opener Jan 10 against World No.4 England.
“We are playing England in the first match. We are totally focussed on the match and will go all out against them. It is an important game and we will try our best to win. In today’s hockey, you cannot take any team lightly,” said Sardar, who has 174 caps.
The attacking midfielder said that this tournament will serve as a good preparation ground ahead of premier events. This year will see the World Cup in May-June followed by the Commonwealth Games in July-August and Asian Games in September-October.
“The next few tournaments including this are very important to us as the World Cup is coming soon. This tourney will help in selecting the team. All those players who give their best in this event will help their own chances of selection. Then we have the Commonwealth and Asian Games after the World Cup which are very important for the country,” said the 27-year-old.