Harjeet Singh to lead the Indian team at the Junior Hockey World Cup
20-year-old midfielder, Harjeet Singh will lead the strong 18-member Indian squad at the FIH Junior Hockey World Cup set to get underway at the Major Dhyan Chand Stadium in Lucknow from 8th to 18th of December.
Harjeet recently captained the Indian colts at the four-nation Invitational Tournament in Valencia, Spain where Indian emerged victorious after beating Germany in the finals.
Harjeet has even earned a senior call-up
The young gun from Kurali in Punjab has proven his worth time and again showcasing consistency and even earning a call-up to the senior team in a couple of major tournaments. He was a part of the senior Indian squad which finished second behind world champions Australia at the Sultan Azlan Shah tournament in April.
Subsequently, he displayed his mettle when he replaced the experienced campaigner Sardar Singh at the FIH Champions Trophy in London, wherein India clinched the silver medal. For his exploits, he was also named as the ‘Jugraj Singh Upcoming Player of the Year’ at the Hockey India Annual Awards, earlier this year.
Deepsan Tirkey named vice captain
Deepsan Tirkey will shoulder the responsibilities of the vice-captain and play the role of Harjeet’s deputy at the Junior Hockey World Cup. The 18-year old Odisha lad played an instrumental role when he led the charge at the EurAsia Cup in Russia to secure a win for India. Further on, he also led the team on the England tour earlier during the year wherein they beat Scotland senior men’s team, Hampstead and Westminster, and won two matches against England.
The most senior member on the junior team will be Harmanpreet Singh, who made his junior debut in 2014 and two years later in 2016 made the cut in the senior team. As for his most remarkable achievement, he grabbed headlines by scoring 15 goals that helped India clinch the junior Asia Cup in 2015 and since then he has been pretty much unstoppable.
The 20-year old defender is also one of the nominees for the FIH Rising Star of the Year 2016, the results for which haven’t been announced as of yet. Alongside him will be Varun Kumar, defender and drag flicker, who scored the most goals on India’s successful tour in Valencia. The other players who will complete the defensive structure will be Vikramjit Singh and Gurinder Singh.
Anchoring the midfield will be players amongst the likes of Santa Singh, Nilakanta Sharma, Manpreet, Sumit along with skipper Harjeet Singh.
Striker Mandeep Singh, who was a part of the senior team squad for the FIH Champions Trophy in London earlier this year, and also scored three field goals in crucial matches will lead the Indian attack at the World Cup. Accompanying him in the forward line will be Armaan Qureshi, Parvinder Singh, Gurjant Singh, Ajit Kumar Pandey and Simranjeet Singh.
The first choice goalkeeper will be Vikas Dahiya who was also part of the Indian team at the Rio Olympics as a stand-by goalkeeper for PR Sreejesh. As for the second custodian in goal, the services of Krishan B Pathak have been enlisted.
India play their first match on the 8th of December against Canada and are clubbed in Pool D alongside South Africa and England.