The Germany team, who have won the Hockey World Cup title twice, arrived to a rousing welcome at the Biju Patnaik International Airport in Bhubaneswar on Saturday ahead of their first match in FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023 Bhubaneswar-Rourkela.
Germany are in Pool B, along with Japan, Belgium and Korea. Germany will open their campaign against the Japanese side in Bhubaneswar on January 14.
They have won the Men’s Hockey World Cup twice in 2002 and 2006 and will be looking to add more to their trophy cabinet.
“After the Olympics, we got a new coach and it was a long preparation of more than eight months. We won 13 out of 18 matches in the last one year and will look to replicate the same performance in the World Cup,” said captain Mats Grambusch.
Germany finished fifth in the Men’s Hockey World Cup in 2018 and Grambusch is confident that they will be able to improve their performance in the forthcoming World Cup in Odisha.
“When you look at this kind of surroundings, there's already a bit of excitement and we are looking forward to playing in Odisha. Our preparations have been going really well as we recently played a six-nation tournament in Spain. We had a lot of things to develop and are ready to play,” said Grambusch.
Germany have Andre Henning as their head coach, who spoke about the mental state of the German players ahead of the big tournament.
“Our players did a lot of things while preparing for the tournament and are confident of their abilities. We worked on our defence and got better at it as a group. The players have gotten better tactically as well,” said Henning.
The team has been in fine form in the last one year and Henning has full faith in his players.
“We had a strong year as we won 13 FIH Pro League matches and were between fifth and sixth in the World rankings. So, we are looking forward to playing in the mega tournament and if we reach the semifinals then that would be a big success. However, our ultimate aim is to win the World Cup trophy,” Henning signed off.