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Manpreet to lead India's strong junior hockey world cup squad

Hockey India announced a strong 18-member junior men's squad for the upcoming FIH Junior Men's World Cup to be held at Delhi from December 5 to 15.

Updated:November 27, 2013, 4:22 PM IST
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Manpreet to lead India's strong junior hockey world cup squad
Hockey India announced a strong 18-member junior men's squad for the upcoming FIH Junior Men's World Cup to be held at Delhi from December 5 to 15.
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New Delhi: Hockey India announced a strong 18-member junior men's squad, led by midfielder Manpreet Singh, that will present India's challenge at the upcoming FIH Junior Men's World Cup to be held at Delhi from December 5 to 15.

There were no major surprises in the squad announced and introduced to the media and guests at a gala event organised at The Lalit hotel here on Wednesday. However, vice-captain of the Johor Cup-winning squad Affan Yousuf and midfielder Gurmail Singh will be disappointed to see his name among the standbys and not the first 18. Promising defender Amit Rohidas has been named as Manpreet's deputy.

Coach of the team Gregg Clarke said the team is prepared and looking forward to the event. "Playing a World Cup at home will be a memorable occasion for the players. We have prepared well and look forward taking on the World's best," he said.

Hockey India Secretary General Dr. Narinder Batra said the team had good exposure at the Asian Champions Trophy. "Our junior team has been training hard to reach the pinnacle during the forthcoming Junior Men's World Cup. Winning the Sultan of Johor Cup and subsequent exposure during the Asian Champions Trophy were steps in the right direction for the preparations. I wish each and every player and support staff all the very best," Batra said.

India are placed in Group C alongside Netherlands, Korea and Canada. The hosts will open their campaign against Netherlands on the opening day of the tournament. Pool A will feature Germany, Pakistan, Belgium and Egypt, while Australia, Spain, Argentina and France are competing in Pool B. England, New Zealand, South Africa and Malaysia will go head to head in Pool D.

The tournament format will see four pools of four teams playing the league phase, ffollowed by the quarter-finals, semi-finals and classification and medal matches. India will open its campaign against The Netherlands on 6 December 2013 at 2000hrs followed by Canada on 7 December 2013 at 2000hrs and Korea on 10 December 2013 at 2000hrs.

India had won the title in 2001 when they defeated Argentina in the final held in Australia. India finished as runners-up in the fifth edition of the tournament held in England in 1997 when they lost to Australia in the final.

SQUAD:

GOALKEEPERS: Sushant Tirkey, Harjot Singh,

DEFENDERS: Gurjinder Singh, Amit Rohidas (Vice-Captain), Surender Kumar, Sukhmanjit Singh, Pardeep Mor, Kothajit Singh

MIDFIELDERS: Manpreet Singh (Captain), Satbir Singh, Harjit Singh, Imran Khan, Prabhdeep Singh

FORWARDS: Malak Singh, Mandeep Singh, Talwinder Singh, Akashdeep Singh, Ramandeep Singh

STANDBYS: Jagdeep Dayal (Goalkeeper), Lalit Upadhyay (Midfielder), Gurmail Singh (Midfielder), Affan Yousuf (Forward)

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