Afternoon Voice

Sardar Singh’s name dropped from Hockey’s 25-member core group

Hockey India on Wednesday dropped the name of former skipper Sardar Singh from the 25-member core group for the upcoming national camp, which will begin from September 16 at the Kalinga Hockey Stadium, Bhubaneswar.

The camp, which includes a month-long training, will conclude on October 14 ahead of the ten-day Asian Champions Trophy, where the Indian side will go as defending champions.

After the disappointment at the 18th Asian Games Jakarta-Palembang, where the Indian team ended their campaign with a Bronze Medal after beating Pakistan, the squad will be looking at overcoming the setback and regroup with a fresh perspective in the run-up to the much-awaited Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018.

Reflecting on the same, Indian coach Harendra Singh said that there is no excuse for not making it to the finals of the Asian Games and the team should now look forward to the upcoming tournaments.

“The Bronze Medal was a consolation and there is no excuse for not making it to the Final of the 18th Asian Games Jakarta-Palembang. There is no point looking back at the loss but now it’s critical for us to look ahead with a fresh, positive approach,” Singh said.

He further stated that the camp holds significance as it would allow the team to analyse their mistakes and they would be prepared better for the upcoming Asian Champions trophy.

“The idea of training in Bhubaneswar was to get acclimatised and we are also looking at playing on the newly-laid turf at the Kalinga Hockey Stadium which will host the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018. This is a very important phase in the lead up to the season Finale starting on November 28 and we intend to critically analyse our mistakes during the 18th Asian Games not just in our match against Malaysia but the other matches too,” he said.

“Asian Champions Trophy will be one tournament where we will be executing the changes made during this National Camp which is why the tournament in Oman will be very important for us,” he added.

Following are the full Indian squad for the national camp:

Goalkeepers- PR Sreejesh, Suraj Karkera, Krishan Bahadur Pathak

Defenders- Harmanpreet Singh, Rupinder Pal Singh, Gurinder Singh, Varun Kumar, Kothajit Singh Khadangbam, Surender Kumar, Jarmanpreet Singh, Pardeep Singh

Midfielders- Manpreet Singh, Chinglensana Singh Kangujam, Sumit, Simranjit Singh, Nilakanta Sharma, Hardik Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Vivek Sagar Prasad

Forwards- S V Sunil, Akashdeep Singh, Gurjant Singh, Mandeep Singh, Dilpreet Singh, Sumit Kumar.