With just two days to go until the Standard Chartered Bank FIH Men’s Junior World Cup 2009 kicks off here in Singapore and Johor Bahru, representatives from all teams participated in a media briefing today, outlining their aspirations and expectations for the quadrennial summit of junior teams.
Speakers for all teams were hesitant to name favorites, and were quick to point out that no opponent must be underestimated. They were also unanimous in their assessment that predictions are extremely difficult, given that junior teams only meet at this level once every four years.
Nonetheless, the strong European teams, the
In Pool A, Argentina are favorites, and enter the competition with champion-making coach Pablo Lombi but have an entirely different team from four years ago when they were able to lift the Cup. They face stiff competition in the preliminary round from Pakistan who line up with a very experienced squad, with every single Greenshirt sporting at least a handful of senior caps and quite a few having participated in last year's Olympic Games or the recent Asia Cup.
With the recent successes of their senior team,
Pool B, one of the two pools playing their preliminary round of matches in
Olympic silver medalist Roc Oliva leads
England co-hosts Malaysia both aspire to challenge Spain and Korea in the race to the top in pool C, which seems to be one of the if not the most closely contested pools in the preliminary round of this competition, leaving the USA team as a David facing a quartet of Goliaths.
Finally, pool D sees the traditionally strong team from the
All in all, the Standard Chartered Bank FIH Men’s Junior World Cup 2009, a mammoth event hosted in
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