Ahead of the forthcoming Asian Games, starting August 18 in Indonesia, the 25-member core group of Indian men's hockey team will take part in the 11-day preparatory national camp from Wednesday at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) campus in Bengaluru.
After a hectic 21 days in camp where the national campers played back-to-back matches with Bangladesh, South Korea, and New Zealand as part of their preparations for the Asiad, the core group received a much-needed break to recover and return fresh for the camp which concludes on August 11.
"We will be starting high-intensity training after a gap of almost one week. The rest was much-needed after a hectic and busy schedule where the players played high-tempo matches against Bangladesh, South Korea, and New Zealand," chief coach Harendra Singh said in a statement.
For the 18th Asian Games, India are grouped in Pool A along with South Korea, Japan, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, China and Indonesia. Singh said the break allowed the players to return with fresh legs as they aim to seal their Olympic qualification berth by winning the gold.
"This break was essential because now the players will report with a fresh mind and fresh legs for the final preparatory camp before heading for the most important Asian Games where we want to seal the Olympic qualification by winning gold."
"In the camp, we will continue working on all aspects of the game with the specific focus on converting opportunities in the striking circle. We will work on the shortcomings noticed during the New Zealand matches," he said.
The chief coach is confident of his team's prospects at the quadrennial event which will be a stepping stone towards the season's grand finale at the men's World Cup in Bhubaneswar in November.
"We are confident the team will take to the training sessions with high energy and they are aware that a successful Asian Games will be the right stepping stone for the season's most-awaited men's World Cup in Bhubaneswar," Singh said.