The German juniors have been on site in Bhubaneswar, India, since Thursday and are preparing for the start of the U21 World Cup on Wednesday, November 24th (attention, changed start times for the first two preliminary round games).
National coach Johannes Schmitz said that after the media hype on arrival and the “wow moment” on the first visit to the 16,000-seat stadium, which due to the pandemic will only offer space for a few members, the team is fully in focus.
A first test match on Saturday against Canada was won 4-1.
“A lot worked out well – the space is actually much better than we had feared, much less bouncy,” said co-captain Hannes Wulf Müller. “But there is still a lot to do for us in the final preparation.
” This includes a test match against hosts India on Monday as well as penalty corner training on Tuesday.
“Although we are not allowed to leave the hotel and are only escorted to the training with a police escort, there is no sign of the camp fever at the moment. We know how to keep ourselves busy ”, says Mülheims Moritz Ludwig.
That is also due to the good cooperation in the team, said Munich’s Phillip Holzmüller:
“We have almost all known each other since the U16s and enjoy spending time together here. The atmosphere in the team is great! ”
“When it comes to corona management, we focus on the greatest possible security, test almost every day and only do without wearing the mask in the double rooms,” said the national coach.
“We don’t notice much of the pressure of expectation that Germany has placed on us,” said the second captain, Benedikt Schwarzhaupt.
“But we’re putting the pressure on ourselves because we want to at least get into the semi-finals and, if possible, into the final.”
The DHB team only has video material from the second preliminary round opponent Argentina. Pakistan and Egypt are “black boxes” for the DHB team, said Schwarzhaupt:
“But maybe that’s also very good, because then you focus more on your own strengths”. But that is also due to the pandemic, explained Schmitz. “In the past two years there has been little international stage for the U21 teams, so there is hardly any video material either.”
The preliminary round games of the DHB selection again with the kick-off times changed by the FIH at a glance:
- Wednesday, November 24th, 7.30 a.m. (German time) : Germany – Pakistan
- Friday, November 26th, 12:30 p.m. (German time) : Germany – Argentina
- Sunday, November 28th, 3 p.m. (German time) : Germany – Egypt
FIH channel Watch.Hockey broadcasts all games in Germany live