New Delhi, July 28 (IANS) As many as six youngsters have been included in the 18-member Indian mens team for the tour of Belgium and Netherlands that is slated to begin from 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 which will be captained by Manpreet Singh, Hockey India announced on Friday.
Talented defender and dragflicker 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 in this tour in order to give them the international exposure in this new Olympic cycle,” chief coach Roelant Oltmans said.
“The team has been training in SAI Bengaluru where we have been working on improving our counter control and defence apart from working on variations that can improve our goal scoring.
“It is important for the youngsters to face top teams like the Netherlands and Belgium early in their career which will undoubtedly benefit our long-term goals,” he added.
India are scheduled to play five matches in their Europe Tour as they take on Belgium in the first two matches on August 9 and 10.
The Team will then move to Waalwijk, Netherlands to face the home team on August 13 and 14.
They will play their fifth and final match of the Tour against Austria in Amstelveen, Netherlands on August 16.
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.