Hockey India named the men’s and women’s squads that will be travelling to Belgium for the FIH Hockey World League Semi-finals. The tournament is scheduled to start from June 20 and there are a lot of expectations from both the teams. Let us have a look at the final squads and the groups both teams are placed in:
Indian men’s squad for Hockey World League:
The Indian men’s squad for the Hockey World League comprising of 18 members was announced on Tuesday. Midfielder Sardar Singh (216 international caps) will lead the team while goalkeeper PR Sreejesh will continue to serve him as his deputy. The biggest news from the selection of the men’s squad is the exclusion of defender Rupinderpal Singh and forward SK Uthappa. They were not fully fit and will thus not be a part of the Indian team travelling to Belgium for the Hockey World League.
GOALKEEPERS: PR Sreejesh, Harjot Singh
DEFENDERS: Manpreet Singh, Birendra Lakra, Kothajit Singh, VR Ragunath, Jasjit Singh Kular, Gurmail Singh
MIDFIELDERS: Gurbaj Singh, Dharamvir Singh, Sardar Singh, Chinglensana Singh, Lalit Upadhyay
FORWARDS: SV Sunil, Nikkin Thimmaiah, Yuvraj Walmiki, Akashdeep Singh, Ramandeep Singh
Speaking on the selection of the team for the Hockey World League, head coach Paul van Ass said,
“The team is full of confidence which they proved in the recent Japan series where they gave Japan a tough time and beat them 3-0. As they will be clashing with the finest of the teams, the boys are working upon their strategies and confident [sic] to put up a good show in the tournament. Their pool is tough but the boys are confident of putting up a great show. The team is excited to face Australia yet again.”
India will be a part of pool A at the World Hockey League along with France, Poland, Pakistan and Australia. China, Ireland, Malaysia, Great Britain and Belgium are the teams in pool B. India will play their first match against France on June 20.
Indian women’s squad for World Hockey League:
Before the men’s squad was announced, Hockey India announced the women’s squad for the same tournament. Ritu Rani is leading the team along with Deepika, who is the vice-captain. The women in blue would look to finish in the top 4 and secure a place in the World Hockey League finals. This would also help them qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
GOALKEEPERS: Savita, Rajini Etimarpu
DEFENDERS: Deep Grace Ekka, Deepika, Sunita Lakra, Namita Toppo, Sushila Chanu
MIDFIELDERS: Ritu Rani (C), Lilima Minz, Lily Chanu, Navjot Kaur, Monika, Renuka Yadav
FORWARDS: Rani, Poonam Rani, Vandana Kataria, Anuradha Devi, Soundarya Yendala
Head coach Mathias Ahrens expressed his views on the Indian women’s squad for the Hockey World League. Here is what he had to say:
“The team is doing very well and improving perfectively. We have pointed out mistakes and loopholes in the previous matches and we are positively working on those issues. The players are keen learners and work really hard, which is a very good thing for the team. We know the fact that we will face top-ranked team in the tournament but we are not in pressure. We will just focus on our strategies and play our best game. I am sure that we will see a good competition in FIH Hockey World League Semi-Final.”
The Indian women’s hockey team is placed in pool B of the Hockey World League along with hosts Belgium, Australia, New Zealand and Poland. They will face Belgium in their first match on June 20.
Sports Rediscovered wishes the Indian team all the best for the Hockey World League. Stay tuned for more information on schedule and match reports.