After making an impressive start to their maiden campaign at the FIH Hockey Pro League with a brilliant win against Netherlands, Indian men’s hockey team will regroup for the national coaching camp in Bhubaneswar ahead of their tie against World Champions Belgium on February 8 and 9.
Hockey India (HI) on Saturday named 32 players for the camp which will see the return of dragflicker and defender Varun Kumar, who was out of action due to a nerve injury.
The core group continues to remain the same with a mix of experienced and young players including P.R. Sreejesh, Krishan Bhadur Pathak, Suraj Karkera, Harmanpreet Singh, Surender Kumar, Birendra Lakra, Rupinder Pal Singh, Gurinder Singh, Amit Rohidas, Kothajit Singh Khadangbam, Manpreet Singh, Hardik Singh, Nilakanta Sharma and Vivek Sagar Prasad.
Chinglensana Singh, who made a good comeback against the Netherlands after a year-long hiatus also finds his name in the group along with young Striker Dilpreet Singh, Rajkumar Pal, Nilam Sanjeep Xess and Dipsan Tirkey.
S.V. Sunil, Akashdeep Singh, Ramandeep Singh, Simranjeet Singh, Mandeep Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Gursahibjit Singh, Shamsher Singh, Jarmanpreet Singh, Jaskaran Singh, Gurjant Singh and Sumit too have been called up.
“The next two weeks, we will continue to stay focused on the process we have put in place. Improved fitness was one of our key strengths and it is important we keep up the optimal level. The players got a good week’s break before returning to camp so I am expecting everyone to be fresh. As I had mentioned earlier, we need to improve one-on-one tackling, that will be one of the main focuses of our camp, and we look forward to the challenge against the World Champions,” stated chief coach Graham Reid.