Hockey India has named an 18-man squad for the upcoming Olympic Test Event scheduled to begin from August 17 in Japan. The newly-installed Indian coach Graham Reid has decided to rest several of the experienced campaigners like captain Manpreet Singh, PR Sreejesh and Surender Kumar, giving opportunities to the young prodigies instead.
“We are resting some senior players including Manpreet Singh some of whom have had a very rigorous last 12 months of hockey and will give them a chance to shake off any niggling injuries and get fresh for the next three months of preparation for the November qualifying matches,” said Reid in an official media statement.
In the absence of several first team players, 23-year-old Harmanpreet Singh has been named as captain while Mandeep Singh will serve as vice-captain. Youngsters Ashis Topno and Shamsher Singh have earned their premier call-ups to the senior team. The Olympic Test Event also marks a return to the squad for veteran striker SV Sunil.
“With no world ranking points at risk, the Tokyo Test Event gives us an ideal opportunity to not only get a first-hand look at how Tokyo is shaping up for next year’s Olympics, we will also see some players who have not had a chance to show us what they can do on the international stage,” opined Reid.
Krishan Bahadur Pathak, Gurinder Singh, Harmanpreet Singh (Captain), Kothajit Singh Khadangbam, Hardik Singh, Nilakanta Sharma, Vivek Sagar Prasad, Jaskaran Singh, Mandeep Singh (Vice Captain), Gursahibjit Singh, Nilam Sanjeep Xess, Jarmanpreet Singh, Varun Kumar, Ashis Topno, SV Sunil, Gurjant Singh, Shamsher Singh, Suraj Karkera