Hockey World Cup: Wales not here to just make up the numbers, says skipper
“We are here to cause an upset,” asserted captain Rupert Shipperley after arriving in Odisha for Wales’ first-ever FIH Men’s Hockey World Cup.
The excitement and anticipation for the mega event was evident on their faces as they touched down at the Biju Patnaik International Airport here on Saturday.
Shipperley said that his side are keen to ensure the year begins with a bang. Wales open their FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023 Bhubaneswar-Rourkela campaign against England on January 13 and play Spain on January 15, both in the newly built Birsa Munda International Hockey Stadium in Rourkela.
“We are here to win, it’s as simple as that. We are not here to just make up the numbers, we are here to cause an upset,” said Shipperley.
The debutants had recently played the Indian Men’s Hockey Team at the 2022 Commonwealth Games Birmingham, and had been handed a 4-1 defeat. However, according to Captain Shipperley, his side have worked on their game, and our ready to take on the hosts in Bhubaneswar on 19th January at the Kalinga Stadium.
“We are looking forward to playing India in front of their fans, it is going to be a special occasion. We have faced all the teams in our pool before and we know what to expect, we are just raring to go now,” said Shipperley.
Meanwhile, head coach Danny Newcombe said, “We are really excited to come and play our first world cup in India, it really is a privilege to be here but ultimately we are here to play hockey, playing against India in front of the Indian fans is the icing on the cake.”
The chief coach also sounded off a warning to all the other teams in Pool D, which includes hosts India, Spain and England, saying that the Welsh team are not going to crumble under any kind of pressure.
“This player group is quite experienced, most of us have been together for almost six years and we earned the right to be here we are not here to just participate in the FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023 Bhubaneswar-Rourkela,” he asserted.
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