Dipsan, Shilanand in Indian squad for 6-nation U-23 Belgium hockey meet

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New Delhi, July 2 (IANS) Hockey India on Monday named the mens team for the Under-23 Six Nations Tournament to be held between July 14 to 21 in in Antwerp, Belgium.

The Indian team is scheduled to play a total of five round-robin matches against Ireland, Britain, Belgium, Malaysia and Netherlands. The top two teams at the end of the round-robin matches will face each other in the final whereas the remaining teams will play classification matches.

The 18-member squad will be captained by defender Dipsan Tirkey, while midfielder Hardik Singh will shoulder the duties of vice-captain.

Two members of the squad, Dipsan and striker Shilanand Lakra have already played for the senior national team

“The U23 Six Nations Tournament in Belgium will prove to be a good test for our younger players of the core group. We will be playing against some of the best youth teams from around the world, which will help in giving our players the exposure they require,” HI High Performance Director David John said in a statement.

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“This tour will also help in developing our team that will take part in the 8th Sultan of Johor Cup 2018 to be held in October later this year,” he added.

“It will be a crucial tournament for some of the athletes as this will be their first major international exposure, but the majority of the players have represented the junior or senior team which is always a good sign.”

The Indian team will play their opening match against Ireland on July 14.

The squad:

Goalkeepers: Pankaj Kumar Rajak, Prashant Kumar Chauhan

Defenders: Dipsan Tirkey, Nilam Sanjeep Xess, Pardeep Singh, Mandeep Mor, Somjeet, Mohd. Faraz

Midfielders: Hardik Singh, Dharminder Singh, Raj Kumar Pal, Vishal Antil, Rabichandra Singh Moirangthem

Forwards: Shilanand Lakra, Abhishek, Abharan Sudev Belimagga, Mohammed Raheel Mouseen, Mohammad Umar.

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