Vivek Sagar Prasad, who was a part of India’s historic bronze medal-winning team at the Tokyo Olympics a couple of months ago, will be leading the country in the FIH Men’s Hockey Junior World Cup 2021 beginning later this month in Bhubaneswar, Hockey India announced on Thursday. (More Hockey News)
Defender Sanjay will be Vivek’s deputy as defending champions India start their FIH Men’s Hockey Junior World Cup 2021 campaign against France on an opening day. The FIH Men’s Hockey Junior World Cup 2021, slated to begin on 24 November will witness 16 top teams from across the globe vie for the honours which was previously won by India in 2016.
Dinachandra Singh Moirangthem and Boby Singh Dhami have been chosen as alternate players who will be allowed to play only if there is an injury or someone in the 18-member squad is ruled out of the tournament due to Covid-19.
India will take on Canada on November 25 in their second match of the round-robin league, followed by a clash against Poland two days later. The FIH Men’s Hockey Junior World Cup 2021 knockout matches will take place between December 1 and 5 as the teams will look to become the Champions of the prestigious quadrennial event.
The other teams in the fray include Belgium, The Netherlands, Argentina, Germany, Canada, South Africa, Egypt, Pakistan, Korea, Malaysia, Poland, France, Chile, Spain and USA. Speaking on the selection chief coach Graham Reid asserted the is side is well-balanced with a lot of flexibility and flair.
“Each of these guys have put their everything into trying to make this team for the last 12-18 months. Through COVID, through sanctions and lockdowns, huge sacrifices have been made. The key to these guys performing on the big stage will be to trust in each other and trust in their preparation,” Reid said.
“Even though the ground (Kalinga Stadium) will be empty, the Olympics have proven that the spectacle of hockey can still be enjoyed by everyone involved,” stated Reid highlighting the team’s excitement ahead of the tournament.
India's squad for FIH Men’s Hockey Junior World Cup 2021:
Shardanand Tiwari, Prashant Chauhan (GK), Sanjay (VC), Sudeep Chirmako, Rahul Kumar Rajbhar, Maninder Singh, Pawan (GK), Vishnukant Singh, Ankit Pal, Uttam Singh, Sunil Jojo, Manjeet, Rabichandra Singh Moirangthem, Vivek Sagar Prasad (C), Abhishek Lakra, Yashdeep Siwach, Gurmukh Singh and Araijeet Singh Hundal.