Within 6 days, the second edition of the prestigious FIH Hockey Pro League will start.
On January 25th our Red Lions will play their very first game in Sydney against Australia. World’s number 1 against the number 2: that’s going to rock! After that, the Belgian team will fly on to New Zealand for two matches against the Black Sticks, to finally finish this first set of away games in India.
26/01 AUS-BEL 07:30
1/02 NZL-BEL 07:30
2/02 NZL-BEL 05:30
8/02 IND-BEL 12:30
9/02 IND-BEL 12:30
All these matches will be livestreamed on Play Sports.
The matches of the Pro League in Belgium are scheduled from May 15th to June 28th in Antwerp. You can find the program HERE. The tickets are already for sale online!
Red Lions are already in Australia
Currently the Red Lions are already in Sydney for a 2 week preparation camp. Despite the severe forest fires and the dramatic situation in certain parts of Australia, it was decided to maintain the trip with the team -> read more about this.
National coach Shane McLeod gives us more insight into the “ins and outs” of this training camp and the importance of this period for the coming weeks and months, which will be essential in view of the Tokyo Olympics.
Shane McLeod: “We arrived here in Sydney last Thursday and have already had a good first week. The players have arrived keen to get the Olympic year underway. The level of training has improved each day, as the players start to get over their jetlag and also start to get that feeling back after having a break.” In the Sydney area, where the Red Lions stay and train, the impact of the severe bush fires doesn’t seem to be too big at the moment. “We certainly do not see the bush fires except for on the news. In parts of Australia it is truly devastating but luckily where we are training and playing we just need to be mindful of the air quality. If it wasn’t for the news and for the day where the wind changed into our direction you would not have known of the problems that the fires have created.”
Before the two Pro League games start, the Red Lions still have 10 days of preparation left, with a busy and intense program. “Today is a rest day, but after that we start a week with a very heavy workload. We want to make sure the bodies are ready for two very hard Pro League matches. First thing for us, is to set our basic structures for Tokyo. In addition we are going to work hard on the four main aspects of our play : pressing – outlet – attack – defense. And we will also start again our P.C. work for this year.” When asked about the importance of this long and hard first round of preparation for Tokyo, Shane replied: “It’s important that everyone is on the same page as to how we will play. We will be able to test ourselves against other strong Olympic teams, which will allow us to answer questions such as How do we recreate the performance gap we have achieved in 2019? What do we need to improve??”
McLeod is very clear, to conclude: “There is only one objective and that is to make sure that we are collectively ready for being successful in Tokyo!”