Inframe : Kumar Subramaniam / Photo Credits : Hockey India

Friendly matches against top European teams such as Netherlands, Germany and Belgium is important to strengthen the national hockey squad for the coming 2020 Tokyo Olympics qualifying round next year.

National veteran goalkeeper S. Kumar said the team needed more competitive matches against the top world ranking teams.

“We seldom play against leading sides such as Netherlands and Germany or teams in the world’s top five. Most of the time, we were playing against clubs or second teams.

“So plans to have such friendly matches is good to beef up the performance of national side. It is important as we will facing Austria, Italy and Wales, apart from facing Canada and China in the Hockey Series Final,” said the 39-year-old player.

Malaysia, will be hosting the Hockey Final Series in April which is the second qualifying round and Malaysia have to take the top two places to progress to the final round in October and November 2019.