Sports

Sreejesh to lead men's hockey team in 18th Asian Games

July 10, 2018 10:25 AM

Punjab News Express/Balbir Singh
NEW DELHI: Hockey India on Monday named an 18-member men's Team for the 18th Asian Games to begin in Jakarta and Palembang on August 18.
Defending Champions India, who had beaten Pakistan in the final at the 2014 edition in Incheon Korea to win gold, will be captained by PR Sreejesh. He was recently awarded the best goalkeeper of the FIH Hockey Men's Champions Trophy in Breda where India returned home with their second consecutive silver medal.
Midfielder Chinglensana Singh Kangujam has been named as the vice captain for the tournament and he will be joined by the experienced Sardar Singh, Manpreet Singh, Simranjeet Singh and Vivek Sagar Prasad in the midfield.
India's forwardline will see Akashdeep Singh return to the squad. Experienced SV Sunil, Mandeep Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay and Dilpreet Singh have been named in the squad. The team's defence will be strengthened with the return of experienced dragflicker Rupinder Pal Singh who was rested for the Champions Trophy. The backline will also see three other dragflickers Harmanpreet Singh, Varun Kumar and Amit Rohidas apart from the experienced Surender Kumar and Birendra Lakra.
Speaking about the team composition, chief coach Harendra Singh said, "We have a great mix of players who have shown their abilities in the recent tournaments. Though it is unfortunate we will be missing out on Ramandeep Singh's experience as he is ruled out of the Asian Games due to a recent knee surgery he underwent. But it is good to have Akashdeep Singh back in the mix. Both Rupinder and Akashdeep have remained in camp when the team was away in Breda and have had good match practice against Bangladesh over the past week and are raring to go."
The 18-members who returned from Breda, the Netherlands have joined the rest of the core group at ongoing National Camp in Sports Authority of India, Bengaluru after a short five-day break. The next three weeks in camp will see a mix of players take on the Korean National team in five practice matches and the New Zealand national team in three matches ahead of the all-important Asian Games. "While the practice matches against Korea will have a mix of players from the core group, the matches against New Zealand will be played by the 18 members who are selected for the Asian Games. I believe this will be good for the team in their preparation for the Asian Games where we will certainly go for the Gold to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics," stated an assertive Harendra Singh.
Squad
Goalkeepers: PR Sreejesh (Captain), Krishan B Pathak.
Defenders: Harmanpreet Singh, Varun Kumar, Birendra Lakra, Surender Kumar, Rupinder Pal Singh, Amit Rohidas.
Midfielders: Manpreet Singh, Chinglensana Singh Kangujam (Vice-Captain), Simranjeet Singh, Sardar Singh, Vivek Sagar Prasad.
Forwards : S V Sunil, Mandeep Singh, Akashdeep Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay and
Dilpreet Singh.

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