The Indian Junior Men’s Hockey Team left for the 8th Sultan of Johor Cup 2018 on Wednesday night from the Kempegowda International Airport here in Bengaluru. The prestigious event scheduled to begin on 6 October 2018 in Johor Bahru will see ten Indian players play their first International tournament.
The Indian Junior Men’s Team had ended their previous campaign in 2017 with a Bronze Medal. Two of the star players from that tournament midfielder Vivek Sagar Prasad and forward Dilpreet Singh were soon elevated to the Senior Core group after their inspiring performance at the 2017 edition of Sultan of Johor Cup that saw India beat Malaysia in the Bronze Medal match.
“Last year too we had taken a fresh team with almost the whole team playing their first International tournament. However, as the tournament progressed, I certainly felt that we could have made the Final and it was disappointing to end up with a Bronze Medal. However, this time, while we have ten players playing the International Tournament for the first time, we will be banking on the eight players who have had the experience from last year and have played a fair bit of International matches this year,” explained Team Coach Jude Felix.
The Indian team led by Mandeep Mor and Vice Captained by forward Shilanand Lakra will begin their campaign on 6 October 2018 against hosts Malaysia. The team will play New Zealand the following day and play against Japan on 9 October. The team will take on defending Champions Australia on 10 October and will play their last round robin match on 12 October against Great Britain. “Having closely worked with these players in the past two National Camps, I have no doubt that they are a very talented group of players and finishing on the podium is realistic,” Felix added ahead of the team’s departure.