As many as six youngsters have been included in the 18-member Indian men’s team for the tour of Belgium and Netherlands that is slated to begin from August 9.India will be led by Manpreet Singh as they will face Belgium in their first match in Boom on August 9.
Apart from goalkeeper Suraj Karkera, junior World Cup stars Varun Kumar, Dipsan Tirkey, Nilakanta Sharma, Gurjant Singh and Armaan Qureshi will be making their debut in a team.Chinglensana Singh has been given the role of vice-captain and the team has decided to rest some key players who made appearances in the World League Semifinal.
A talented defender and drag-flicker Amit Rohidas who had an outstanding season with Kalinga Lancers, the winners of the 2017 Coal India Hockey India League, too finds himself in the squad for the Europe Tour.
“We will continue to test some of the younger players on this tour in order to give them the international exposure in this new Olympic cycle,” chief coach Roelant Oltmans said.
“It is important for youngsters to face a top team like Belgium and Netherlands early in their career which definitely benefits out long term goals,” he added.
Further, he said,”The team has been training in SAI Bengaluru where we have been working on improving our counter control and defense apart from working on variations that can improve our goal scoring.”
India is scheduled to play five matches in their Europe Tour as they take on Belgium in the first two matches on August 9 and 10.
Goalkeepers: Akash Anil Chikte, Suraj Karkera.
Defenders: Dipsan Tirkey, Kothajit Singh, Gurinder Singh, Amit Rohidas, Varun Kumar.
Midfielders: S.K. Uthappa, Harjeet Singh, Manpreet Singh (Captain), Chinglensana Singh (Vice-Captain), Sumit, Nilakanta Sharma.
Forwards: Mandeep Singh, Ramandeep Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Gurjant Singh, Armaan Qureshi.