Defender Sanjeep named captain of U-18 hockey team for Asia Cup

New Delhi, Sep 19 (IANS) Defender Nilam Sanjeep Xess was on Monday named captain of the India team that will compete in the Boys Under-18 Asia Cup hockey tournament to be held at Dhaka, from September 24-30.

Sanjeep’s defensive partner Hardik Singh will be the vice-captain. Both players have also been part of the junior team that won the EurAsia Cup earlier this year and will form the backbone of the defence for the team.

Sanjeep was part of the Hockey Odisha team that retained the Junior National Championship in May earlier this year.

Pankaj Kumar Rajak and Tanuj Gulia will be the custodians in goal for the squad.

Manipur boys M. Rabichandra Singh and K. Ibungo Singh will lead the midfield and attack, respectively. The two were prolific in the Hockey India Sub-Junior National Championship held at Imphal in May 2016.

“Our aim to reach new heights of hockey rankings internationally has to start from the junior level. We are hosts of the Junior World Cup in December 2016 and keeping that in mind we are constantly ensuring our junior teams across different levels get good exposure to international hockey,” Hockey India (HI) Secretary General Mushtaque Ahmad said.

“I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of Hockey India to thank Sports Authority of India for their initiative in the launch of the National Hockey Academy in Delhi.

“That aside, the Boys U-18 Asia Cup is a good determinant for the Coaches to find the potential future stars and to see how we are doing in terms of development in our players at the junior level.”

The squad:

Goalkeepers: Pankaj Kumar Rajak, Tanuj Gulia.

Defenders: Nilam Sanjeep Xess (Captain), Hardik Singh (Vice Captain), Vidhan Patel, Harshdeep Kapoor, Shivam Anand.

Midfielders: Dharminder Singh, Kunwardilraj Singh, Rabichandra Singh Moirangthem, Kishore Arya, Harish Mutagar.

Forwards: Dilpreet Singh, Mohammad Umar, Ibungo Singh Konjengbam, Sunny Malik, Shivam Anand, Abhisek.

–IANS

pur/dg

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