THE 18-MEMBER Indian junior men’s hockey team for the Uttar Pradesh Hockey Junior World Cup Men Lucknow 2016 was announced by Hockey India today.
The team includes dragflicker and defender Harmanpreet Singh, who has been nominated for the 2016 Rising Star of the Year award from the FIH. He was also part of the Indian team that participated in the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Known for his abilities as a striker, Surjit Academy graduate Mandeep Singh too finds himself in the squad. He was part of India’s forwardline in the FIH Champions Trophy in London earlier this year where he rose to the occasion scoring three field goals in crucial matches. He will be joined in the forward line by Armaan Qureshi, Parvinder Singh, Gurjant Singh, Ajit Kumar Pandey and Simranjeet Singh.
Defender and dragflicker Varun Kumar who scored the maximum goals in India’s successful campaign in Valencia will be joined by Vikramjit Singh and Gurinder Singh in the defence structure. While the midfield will be formed by Santa Singh, Nilakanta Sharma, Manpreet, Sumit along with Harjeet Singh.
India’s custodian in goal will be Vikas Dahiya who was also part of the Indian team at the Rio Olympics as a stand-by goalkeeper for PR Sreejesh. Krishan B Pathak will be the second goalkeeper for India.
“The final combination has been formed keeping in mind the recent results. I believe this team combination is the best we have in junior hockey and the boys are ready both mentally and physically to do everything it takes to stand on the podium. Though our goal is to win the gold medal, we will be taking it match-by-match and the best part is that this group knows how to keep their emotions in check,” stated Roelant Oltmans.
India will begin their campaign against Canada on the 8th December and will face England on 10th December and play South Africa on 12th December as part of their Pool D league matches.
The matches can be seen live on Star Sports 4 and Star Sports HD 4.