Hockey India rewards HIL performers in National Camp at Bengaluru

hockey stick ball 26New Delhi: Hockey India on Friday rewarded players who impressed in the Hockey India league (HIL) when it named the 33-member core probables list for the national camp, starting March 14 at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) complex in Bengaluru.

The camp, held under the guidance of chief coach Roelant Oltmans, also includes 11 players from the Gold Medal Junior World Cup winning squad.

While Mandeep Singh, Harjeet Singh, Harmanpreet Singh and Vikas Dahiya have been part of the senior men's camp earlier, defenders Dipsan Tirkey, Gurinder Singh, midfielders Sumit, Nilakanta Sharma, Manpreet, Simranjeet Singh, forward Gurjant Singh are the latest inclusions in the core group, which will be put through the grind ahead of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in April.

The 20-year-old goalkeeper Suraj Karkera from Mumbai has also received a call-up for the national team camp.

Karkera was part of the junior Indian men's team in the four-nation International Junior hockey tournament in Valencia last year.

The squad contains the likes of P.R. Sreejesh, Sardar Singh, Rupinder Pal Singh, S.V. Sunil, Birendra Lakra, Kothajit Singh, S.K. Uthappa, Chinglensana Singh, Talwinder Singh, Ramandeep Singh, Akashdeep Singh, Surender Kumar, Manpreet Singh among others featuring in the national campers' list.

Commenting on the development, Oltmans said: "It was a busy start to the new year with the Coal India HIL where I feel some of the players did extremely well under pressure situations. Like I had mentioned earlier, the selection process for the core probables was based on the players' performances in the year 2016 as well as the 2017 Coal India HIL.

"This is an important year for Indian hockey with the Men's Hockey World League Semi-Final London 2017 and the World League Final in December.

"This year's performances will be vital in bringing us fresh perspective towards building our game further as we move into the year of the Men's World Cup in 2018. I believe the players will be mentally and physically ready for a new challenge this calendar year after a two-week break post the Coal India HIL," Oltmans said.

The 62-year-old Dutchman will be joined by new recruits Hans Streeder, who has replaced Roger van Gent as the analytical coach for the senior men team and Scott Conway who has been brought in as the new scientific advisor for the team.

Core probables:

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Goalkeepers: Akash Chikte, P.R. Sreejesh, Vikas Dahiya, Suraj Karkera.

Defenders: Dipsan Tirkey, Pardeep Mor, Birendra Lakra, Kothajit Singh, Surender Kumar, Rupinderpal Singh, Harmanpreet Singh, Jasjit Singh Kular, Gurinder Singh, Amit Rohidas.

Midfielders: Chinglensana Singh, S.K. Uthappa, Sumit, Satbir Singh, Sardar Singh, Manpreet Singh, Harjeet Singh, Nilakanta Sharma, Manpreet, Simranjeet Singh.

Forwards: Ramandeep Singh, S.V.Sunil, Talwinder Singh, Mandeep Singh, Affan Yousuf, Nikkin Thimmaiah, Gurjant Singh, Akashdeep Singh, Lalit Upadhyay.