Bhubaneswar: France, ranked number 20 in the world, arrived on Thursday for the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup 2018 here.
The team, though ranked lowest in the tournament, are hopeful of creating some upset wins to keep their chances alive in the prestigious event to begin on 28 November at the iconic Kalinga Stadium here.
Grouped in Pool A with Olympic Champions Argentina, Spain and New Zealand, France will need to win at least one match to move up to the crossovers.
An optimistic Chief Coach Delmee Jeroen said, “We are the lowest ranked team in the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018 and our target is to get closer to the top 10. We are in a tough group but we have had good preparations and can cause a little bit of an upset in the tournament.”
The team will begin their campaign against New Zealand on 29 November and are banking on their experienced players to ensure good fight against higher ranked teams.
“We have a good group of players with some of them who were part of the U-21 World Cup in Delhi where the team finished second. They have grown from there, with good experience and a good program back home. We can make it hard for other teams who are favourites against us. At least one upset is a realistic goal for us to make the next round,” added Jeroen.