Hockey India announces squad for 6 Nations Invitational tournament in Valencia
Hockey India has announced their squad for the 6 Nations Invitational Tournament to be held in Valencia Spain, between June 27-July 3, 2016.
The squad features a strong defensive line-up, with experienced campaigners VR Raghunath, Rupinder Pal Singh and Kothajit Singh being joined by the returning Birender Lakra. Harmanpreet Singh and Surender Kumar provide the youth to the backline. PR Sreejesh and Vikas Dahiya are the goalkeepers included in the squad.
Sardar Singh will take over the mantle of Captain from PR Sreejesh for the tournament, which will also feature, Argentina, Germany, New Zealand, Ireland and hosts Spain.
“After winning our first medal at the prestigious Champions Trophy tournament over the weekend, and the first medal since the Bronze in 1982 as well as the best finish in any major Champions Trophy tournament so far, we are confident to deliver our best at the 6 Nations Tournament as well. All these matches are stepping stones towards the ultimate goal - Rio Olympics 2016. The brilliant display of tactical hockey during FIH Champions Trophy by the squad has positively elevated are Olympic medal-winning hopes. Three of the teams we face in Valencia are in our Pool at the Olympic Games, so that will help us assess and analyse our tactics better too,” said Sardar Singh.
Chief Coach Roelant Oltmans said, “I am really impressed by the boys with their recent performances, especially at the Champions Trophy Silver winning finale. They are implementing the learnings of the training well into action at the tournaments. I hope we keep up the spirit and continue to deliver performances like this. The key to the tournament will be to use it almost as a host of friendlies, before the Games. We will try to maximise on our squad rotations, tactical experiments and analyse our opponents there. Most teams, will come with what resembles their full strength squad and so it will give us a good indication of our strengths and weaknesses, prior to Rio.”
In the opening match on 27th June, India take on Germany.
The squad is as follows:
Goalkeepers: PR Sreejesh (VC), Vikas Dahiya
Defenders Rupinderpal Singh, VR Raghunath, Kothajit Singh, Surender Kumar, Harmanpreet Singh, Birendra Lakra
Midfielders: Danish Mujtaba, Chinglensana Singh, Manpreet Singh, Sardar Singh (C), SK Uthappa, Devindar Sunil Walmiki , Harjeet Singh
Forwards: Talwinder Singh, SV Sunil, Akashdeep Singh, Ramandeep Singh, Nikkin Thimmaiah