Hockey India sprang no surprises in naming 20-member squad for the coming FIH Pro League games against the Netherlands and Belgium next month. It also named India’s 9-member women team for the Lausanne Hockey5s tournament named a nine-member Indian Women’s Hockey The Indian women’s team will play Uruguay, Poland, South Africa, and hosts Switzerland in the Lausanne showpiece event on June 4 and 5.
The team will be led by Rajani Etimarpu and Mahima Choudhary will shoulder the responsibility as the vice-captain. The team includes experienced goalkeeper Rajani Etimarpu, defenders Rashmita Minz, Ajmina Kujur. Midfielders Vaishnavi Vitthal Phalke, Mahima Choudhary and Preeti. Forwards Mariana Kujur, Mumtaz Khan, who were part of the U-18 team that played the Youth Olympics, and Rutaja Dadaso Pisal will feature in the team.
Additionally, Suman Devi Thoudam and Rajwinder Kaur have been named as standbys.
Chief Coach Janneke Schopman, who will accompany the team, expressed excitement ahead of her first outing at the Hockey 5s event. “I have never coached Hockey 5’s in an official tournament so it will be interesting experience for me. We have picked a team with variety. Plenty of young talent who proved themselves in the Junior World Cup and I am keen to see them play in this format combined with players from the Senior Core Group,” stated Schopman.
In the FIH Hockey Pro League for men, the current table toppers India will play Belgium on June 11 and 12 in Antwerp, which will be followed by matches against the Netherlands on June 18 and 19 in Rotterdam.
The team will be led by Amit Rohidas while Harmanpreet Singh will be his deputy.
The 20-member squad comprises goalkeepers Suraj Karkera, Sreejesh Parattu Raveendran, defenders Surender Kumar, Harmanpreet Singh, Varun Kumar, Amit Rohidas, Jugraj Singh and Jarmanpreet Singh,
midfield features experienced Manpreet Singh, Hardik Singh, Shamsher Singh, Vivek Sagar Prasad, Akashdeep Singh and Nilakanta Sharma while the forward line includes Gurjant Singh, Mandeep Singh, Shilanand Lakra, Sukhjeet Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay and Abhishek.
Speaking about the team, Chief Coach Graham Reid said, “This is the most important stage of the FIH Hockey Pro League with matches against the top teams of the world at their home ground. The plan is to carry forward our momentum from the home games in India.”
“During our national camp at SAI, Bengaluru, we have had the time to introspect on our performance in the league so far and we are focused on putting up an improved performance in Europe. The team continues to remain more or less the same with no major changes. Each one of them have prior experience of playing the Pro League and are upbeat to get on with the matches against Belgium and Netherlands,”