Johor Cup will give us an accurate idea where we stand: Clark

DC

New Delhi: Out of action for the past three months, Indian hockey colts will finally get to play at competitive level in the upcoming Sultan of Johor Cup, and chief coach Gregg Clark said it will give him an accurate idea about his wards ahead of the Junior World Cup.The Junior World Cup is to be held here in December.The Indian junior men's hockey team last played competitive matches on their tour of Europe in early June but after that they have been training only in camps under the watchful eyes of Clark and coach Baljit Singh Saini.But Clark said the six-nation tournament in Johor Bahru, Malaysia, featuring top teams like Korea, Pakistan, England and Argentina besides India, will provide an "indication" of his wards' progress ahead of the all-important Junior World Cup to be held here from December 6-15."It's nice to be finally going for a tournament. We have been in training camp for a couple of months now. I am happy with the way things have gone in the camp. But obviously at this point of time we would like to have more competitive matches as part of our preparation (for Junior World Cup). It will give us an accurate indication of where we are from the performance level," he told reporters at the Major Dhyanchand Stadium here."We haven't played since the beginning of June after the tour of Europe. So, every match is extremely important for us now because you can play as much as you like in the training ground, but what matters is playing against international oppositions," said the South African.In the Sultan of Johor Cup to be held from September 22 to 29, India will get the services of four players -- captain Manpreet Singh, Kothajit Singh and Mandeep Singh -- who are members of the senior side.The likes of Malak Singh, S K Uthappa, Gurmail Singh and Ramandeep Singh have been kept as reserves.

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