The Belgian "Red Devils" have seen a meteoric rise in world field hockey, showcasing their prowess in the World Cup 1

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With the rise of their presence in World Hockey, Belgium is now armed with the World Cup title (2018) and Olympic gold (2020/21), making them a world-wide wonder creating an impact internationally.

Belgium had a breakthrough through their Olympic woes in 2016 in Rio, by securing their gold place in the Tokyo Olympics when the world was taken over by the pandemic storm. The Belgium team converted their silver to gold by winning the senior World Cup against India.

On the other hand, Belgium’s junior team almost won the world cup, even before their peers; the 2016 Junior World Cup at Lucknow was eventful as the hosts clutched their second title in India 2001.

Moreover, the Belgium U-21s at that time were under the coaching of Jeroen Baart, having an experience of seven years with his current junior squad. Jeroen Baart is looking forward to tweak and revamp all the team tactics and formulas just like back in 2016, in Bhubaneswar in the upcoming Junior Men’s World Cup on December 5. It will be an entirely new experience, as the covid ravaged land with empty stadiums will showboat a different story on its own.

In an exclusive interview with upon the arrival of the latest edition of the tournament, Jeroen Baart enlightened the press with his valuable insight. Jeroen Baart has always been involved with the under 21s, ever since 2014 when Shane (McLeod) became the head coach of the famous Red Lions, thus making him an avid hockey fan.

Jeroen Baart also mentioned that he has a U-16 and a U-18 program, where old players have been sticking around for the last four years, with their main objective being to learn and level up their hockey career. “Guys like Victor Wegnez, Arthur de Sloover, Arthur Van Doren and Antoine Kina, even Emmanuel Stockbroekz; these guys have been in my program for the last couple of years”, Jeroen Braat said.

He also mentioned that the road to winning the World Cup is just over the horizon, as the past tourneys proved to be successful such as the 2016 Junior World Cup final against India. He is hoping that they have a good chance in securing a victory, and is very keen in winning the cup.

Since, it is going to be a very diverse tournament where countries like Australia, England, and New Zealand have been pulled out, Jeroen Braat said it has always been a difficult task to predict an opponent’s playing style, and even if these teams are pulled out it makes no difference as the rest of the course of the competition remains challenging.

Furthermore, the COVID restrictions add up to it. The team will not be able to get the full experience, and that will be one of the fantastic things the team will be missing out on. Playing in front of the crowd would have been a different experience, and the COVID restrictions and safety requirements such as testing, quarantine make the situation tougher.

However, Mr. Braat still believes that the team can make the best out of the situation, and playing in India will be worth an experience. He also added that disinfection and hygiene, and keeping up to speed with safe environmental contact protocols have to be followed, keeping in find food intakes as well.

Mr. Braats stressed on that the Red Devils could not be strong enough, with a lineup of skillfull goalkeepers and quality defence in the back aligned with the well-polished Belgian attacking style. With tons of contained experience, and a solid team structure, Mr.Braats has high hopes.

In conclusion, Mr.Braats Said that the team will have a great time experiencing Bhubaneswar, and despite  the COVID dilemma, they will be adaptive to see and become one with the life of India.