India to play junior hockey tourney in Spain

India to play junior hockey tourney in Spain

New Delhi, Oct 12 (IANS) The Indian junior men’s hockey team will participate in the four-nation International Junior Hockey Tournament in Valencia, Spain, from October 24 to 30.

The team will be led by Harjeet Singh and Dipsan Tirkey will be the vice-captain. Goalkeeper Vikas Dahiya, who was stand-by goalkeeper for P.R. Sreejesh at the Rio Olympics, will also feature in the team along with Suraj Karkera as the second goalkeeper.

The defence line-up will include Varun Kumar, who had an impressive outing in the Australian Hockey League (AHL) with seven goals, including a hat-trick, to his name. He will be joined by Gurinder Singh, vice-captain Dipsan Tirkey, Harmanpreet Singh, Hardik Singh and Anand Lakra.

The midfield will be formed by captain Harjeet Singh, Nilakanta Sharma, Santa Singh, Sumit and Shamsher Singh.

The forward line will be spearheaded by the talented Armaan Qureshi, who scored four goals in the recently concluded AHL alongside Manpreet, Gurjant Singh, Parvinder Singh, Ajay Yadav, Simranjeet Singh and Ajit Kumar Pandey.

Joining India in the tournament will be 2013 junior world champions Germany, whom they play in the opening game on October 24, along with Belgium and hosts Spain.

“The boys played their heart out in the Australian Hockey League and their performance was commendable. In Valencia, we will now meet some of the top junior teams like Germany, Belgium and Spain which should keep us in good stead for the Junior World Cup later this year,” India junior team coach Harendra Singh said.

“We have learnt a few things during the AHL and are in the process of ironing out the current challenges to emerge as strong as we can before we go to Lucknow for the Junior Hockey World Cup in December,” he added.

The squad:

Goalkeepers: Vikas Dahiya, Suraj Karkera

Defenders: Varun Kumar, Dipsan Tirkey (vice-captain), Hardik Singh, Gurinder Singh, Harmanpreet Singh, Anand Lakra

Midfielders: Nilakanta Sharma, Harjeet Singh (captain), Santa Singh, Sumit, Shamsher Singh

Forwards: Armaan Qureshi, Gurjant Singh, Manpreet, Parvinder Singh, Ajay Yadav, Simranjeet Singh, Ajit Kumar Pandey.

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