Hockey India announced the final squad on Thursday for tour to Germany and for the Hockey World League semi-final in London to be held next month.
Midfielder Manpreet Singh was appointed as the stand-in captain of Indian National Hockey team for next month’s three nations invitational tournament in Germany and also the Hockey World League semi-final. The regular captain P.R Sreejesh was unavailable for selection as he will be out of action due to a knee injury. The invitational will be played on 1st June in Dusseldorf, Germany and will involve matches against hosts Germany and Belgium. The Hockey World League semi-final will be played in London a fortnight later.
India will play two matches each against Germany and Belgium before travelling to England for the HWL semi-final where India are pooled in Group B together with Canada, Holland, Pakistan and Scotland.
“The idea was to bring in a couple of changes in positions after Sultan Azlan Shah Cup. Like I had said before, there are three tours this year including Azlan Shah Cup where we would like to give opportunities to younger players. Though we are taking a few players who are not that experienced, we still want to do well and the aim is to finish in Top 2 at the Men’s Hockey World League Semi Final and I look forward to see how the boys will perform against big teams” said chief coach Roelant Oltmans.
Manpreet will be deputized by Chinglensana Singh Kangujam. The team will feature a back line of Pardeep Mor, Kothajit Singh, Surender Kumar, Rupinder Pal Singh and Harmanpreet Singh. Harmanpreet and Rupinder will be the team’s primary corner specialists while Akash Chikte and Vikas Dhaiya will step in the goal in the absence of skipper Sreejesh.
Sreejesh suffered a knee injury while playing in the league phase of the 26th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup against Australia.
Making their return to the side after being rested for team’s previous tournament will be midfielders S.K Uthappa and Satbir Singh. They will be joined by Harjeet Singh, Chinglensana Singh and the experienced duo of Manpreet and Sardar Singh. The front line will see another returning face in Ramandeep Singh along with SV Sunil, Akashdeep Singh, Talwinder Singh and Mandeep Singh to spearhead the attack.
The team will leave for Germany on 29th May. The team will have a national training camp for two weeks from 14th May to 28th May before departing overseas.
The final 18-man squad as announced by Hockey India
Goalkeepers: Akash Chikte, Vikas Dahiya
Defenders : Pardeep Mor, Kothajit Singh, Surender Kumar, Rupinderpal Singh, Harmanpreet Singh
Midfielders: Chinglensana Singh Kangujam (Vice Captain), S K Uthappa, Satbir Singh, Sardar Singh, Manpreet Singh (Captain), Harjeet Singh
Forwards: Ramandeep Singh, SV Sunil, Talwinder Singh, Mandeep Singh, Akashdeep Singh.