The Young Indian team won the Junior Asia Cup by thrashing Pakistan 6-2 in the finalIt has been an astonishing year for the Indian hockey fans and most importantly for Hockey India. The senior men’s team ended the year on a high after winning the bronze medal at the recently concluded Hockey World League Finals in Raipur.However, the young junior team has all the reasons to be overjoyed too. The junior team participated in a total of 3 international tournaments, playing a total of 18 matches in the process.The main high came when the Blues lifted the Junior Asia Cup by thrashing arch-rivals Pakistan 6-2 in the final, taking their total goal tally for the tournament to whopping 32 with an average of 6 goals per match. Indian Junior team performance in 2015:MatchesWonDrawLostGoals ForGoals AgainstGoal Difference1812155728+29We look at the top 5 prospect young guns who can make their way into the senior team:
#5 Armaan Qureshi
The 20-year old Armaan Qureshi has been an integral part of the young Indian team and has played a very significant role in India’s success in this calendar year.
He was picked by Jaypee Punjab Warriors for USD 4500 in the recently concluded Hockey India League auctions and will be hoping to gain invaluable experience from the heavyweights such as Skipper of the senior side Sardar Singh, Australian’s Simon Orchard and Chris Ciriello.
The Madhya Pradesh-based halfback found the back of the net in India’s losing cause against The Netherlands in the Volvo U-21 Invitational Tournament and also scored in Blues hammering of arch-rivals Pakistan in the 5th Sultan of Johor Cup.
#4 Dipsan Tirkey
The 17-year old defender has formed an excellent partnership with the fellow defender Harmanpreet Singh to form a rigid wall in the Indian defence line. The understanding between the two is considered to be one of the main reasons for India's good show at the international stage.
The young Indian defender was picked by Kalinga Lancers franchise for a staggering price of USD 31000 for the upcoming edition of the Hockey World League and will be hoping to gain invaluable experience from the heavyweights such as Devindar Walmiki, German international Moritz Fuerste and Australian Glenn Turner.
If Dipsan’s rise is to continue at this rate, he can be on the verge of breaking into the senior side at a very tender age.
#3 Harjeet Singh
The 19-year old Harjeet Singh was handed the realm of the Indian Junior men's team ahead of the 3 most important tournaments in 2015. He successfully led the young Blues to the runners-up position in the Volvo Invitational U-21 men's Tournament and later on in the 5th Sultan of Johor Cup.
However, the young Indian side succeeded all expectations by winning the Junior Asia Cup in the month of November, by thrashing arch-rivals Pakistan 6-2 in the final.
The Punjab-based midfielder overcame all odds to become the most important prospect young player to get through the senior Indian side. He has already represented his nation on 6 occasions while playing for the senior team.
He was picked by Delhi Waveriders for USD 6000 in the recently concluded Hockey India League auctions.
#2 Vikas Dahiya
The 20-year old custodian Vikas Dahiya was adjudged ‘Best Goalkeeper of the tournament’ in the recently concluded Junior Asia Cup for his outstanding display between the goal posts throughout the cup.
Along with Harmanpreet, Vikas shaped the Indian defence into a rigid defensive organisation and were successful in blunting down the opposition attacks for the whole campaign. Vikas was also awarded with a cash prize of INR 1 lakh by Hockey India for his astonishing display between the posts.
The Haryana-based goalkeeper remained unsold at the end of the recently conlcuded Hockey India League auctions.
#1 Harmanpreet Singh
If one player deserves to be called into the senior side, without any doubt, it has be the 19-year old defender and penalty corner specialist Harmanpreet Singh. Since he made his debut for the junior team in 2014, he has been the revolution in the world of junior hockey.
The Punjab-based defender scored a mammoth 9 goals in his debut series, and subsequently was awarded with the ‘player of the tournament’ title.
He was picked by the Dabang Mumbai in the Hockey India League auctions for a sum of $51,000 in September 2015.
Recently, Harmanpreet was the star once again for India at the Junior Men’s Asia Cup, scoring a mammoth total of 15 goals, including 4 in the final against arch-rivals Pakistan to help his side to clinch the final.