Dronacharya award-winning hockey coach Clarence Lobo expects the Indian team to reach the semi-finals of the FIH men’s World Cup, to be held in Bhubaneshwar later this year.
“I am sure that they (the Indian men’s team) will enter the semi-finals. Once they enter the semis then it is anybody’s game. They will enter the semis because we have got a fantastic team and have got a good coach,” Lobo told reporters.
The hockey World Cup will be held in Odisha’s capital from November 28 to December 16 and India are clubbed in Pool C with South Africa, Canada and Belgium.
“We are playing in Odisha and that is an advantage with the (home) crowd. We have got 8-10 players, who won’t bog down under the pressure. It’s an advantage and motivation because we are playing in Odisha,” reasoned Lobo, who started his coaching journey with his employers, Tata Sports Club.
“This team is one the best teams and we have got one of the best coaches (Harendra Singh). You cannot get a better coach,” he insisted.
On receiving the Dronacharya award, Lobo, who has coached the likes of four-time Olympian Dhanraj Pillay, expressed happiness and joy.
“This (the award) is like icing over the cake after 25 years of coaching. I am the happiest person and have given everything for hockey,” Lobo said.