How GB skipper helped Indian star

Barry Middleton of England and Great Britain

Indian midfielder Manpreet Singh has hailed the influence of GB and England Hockey captain Barry Middleton.

Singh played alongside Middleton in the prestigious Indian Hockey League, and cited our skipper as a key influence in his development, saying, “For youngsters like me HIL gave us the platform to interact with top players on and off the field. During HIL I got to learn from players like Moritz [Fürste] and Barry Middleton on how to play under pressure situations, how to play a back drive while playing defence and also how to control the game when you are in the lead. I believe these things have helped me mature as a player.”

Singh is now looking forward to June’s Hockey Champions Trophy in London as part of the India squad, and he is bullish about their chances of success. “We don’t feel scared to take on big teams anymore. We don’t think ourselves as underdogs anymore. In fact, we will go with the confidence that we are as good as any other team if not better.”

“[In the Champions Trophy] we will find out where we need further improvement to our game. We can access each of our abilities to perform under pressure because each of these matches will be high intensity. Also if we make mistakes here, we will have some time to correct them before the Olympics,”

India play in the very first game of the Champions Trophy against Germany on Friday 10th June at 4pm, while Middleton's GB have a mouth-watering game versus Australia on the same night at 8pm. In between, Belgium take on Korea to complete three attractive fixtures at the Lee Valley Hockey & Tennis Centre on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Tickets for the first day begin at just £5 for Under 18s and £20 for adults - incorporating all three matches - as a great tournament gets underway. For the full ticket page please click here.

If you're talking about the event online, the official tournament hashtag is #HCT2016