HI announces junior WC squad; captain says ready for challenge
New Delhi: Manpreet Singh, who was on Wednesday appointed the captain of the Indian team for the upcoming FIH junior hockey World Cup, said they are putting all their energy and focus on tackling a tough Holland side in their opening match.
Hockey India announced an 18-member squad for the prestigious tournament, scheduled to be held from December 6-15 here at Major Dhyanchand National stadium.
All the players, who have been picked, had played in the Asian Champions Trophy in Japan, where they finished fifth. The only change is, defender Amit Rohidas has replaced Kotahjit Singh as the vice captain of the team.
"We are well prepared and the focus is on the match against Holland. We are practicing keeping in mind the challenge that will be posed by Holland. We are putting a lot of emphasis on penalty corner conversion and playing attacking game. We will get good results," Manpreet said after Hockey India (HI) distributed team jerseys to all 18 players.
Manpreet, who is the most experienced player in the side with 85 international matches under his belt, said their approach will be to take one match at a time.
"We will do well, but I don`t make any tall promises. We will go step by step. The immediate target is to do well against Holland. I have learnt a lot of things playing with the senior team and will try to apply those things," he said, adding that Germany, Australia and Argentina will pose a big challenge.
Apart from India and Holland, Pool C also features Korea and Canada.
India`s chief coach Gregg Clark said the tournament will be a tough test for his side.
"It`s going to be tough. We have seen Holland playing. But there are a lot of players who have been in senior team and it will help. We have retained most of them. The side is settled now," the South African said.
Forward Ramandeep Singh, who fetched the highest amount of USD 81,000 during the recent HIL (Hockey India League) auctions, said his team would try to take advantage of playing in front of the home fans.
"We tend to miss chances, we will try to rectify it. We will go step by step. First target is to make quarterfinals," he said.
He said he was "shocked" when he heard that he was the costliest player at the HIL auction.
Goalkeepers: Sushant Tirkey, Harjot Singh.
Defenders: Gurjinder Singh, Kothajit Singh, Surender Kumar, Sukhmanjit Singh, Pardeep Mor, Amit Rohidas.
Midfielders: Harjeet Singh, Satbir Singh, Prabhdeep Singh, Imran Khan.
Forwards: Manpreet Singh (captain), Mandeep Singh, Malak Singh, Talwinder Singh, Akashdeep Singh, Ramandeep Singh.
Standbys: Jagdeep Dayal (goalkeeper), Gagandeep Singh (midfielder), Lalit Upadhyay (defender), Jarmanpreet Singh (defender), Affan Yousuf (forward), Amon Mirash Tirkey (forward) and Gurmail Singh.