New Delhi: Harjeet Singh has been named captain of a 20-member Indian junior men's hockey team, to participate in the four-nation international junior men's hockey tournament, to be held from 24 October in Valencia, Spain. Dipsan Tirkey will be Harjeet's deputy in Valencia.
Goalkeeper Vikas Dahiya, who was stand-by for PR Sreejesh at the Rio Olympics, will also feature in the team along with Suraj Karkera as the second goalkeeper.
The defence will see Varun Kumar, who had an impressive outing at the Australian Hockey League with seven goals, including a hat-trick. He will be joined by Gurinder Singh, Dipsan Tirkey, Harmanpreet Singh, Hardik Singh and Anand Lakra. The midfield will be formed by captain Harjeet, Nilakanta Sharma, Santa Singh, Sumit and Shamsher Singh, while the forward line will be led by the talented Armaan Qureshi, who scored four goals in the recently concluded Australian Hockey League, alongside Manpreet, Gurjant Singh, Parvinder Singh, Ajay Yadav, Simranjeet Singh and Ajit Kumar Pandey.
India will take on 2013 Junior World Champions Germany in their opening game on 24 October before playing Belgium and hosts Spain.
"The boys played their heart out in the Australian Hockey League and their performance was commendable. In Valencia, we will meet some of the top junior teams, like Germany, Belgium and Spain, and it should keep us in good stead for the Junior World Cup later this year," Harendra Singh, coach of the junior men's team.
"We have learnt a few things during the AHL and are in the process of ironing out the current challenges to emerge as strong as we can before we go to Lucknow for the Junior Hockey World Cup in December," he added.
Goalkeepers: Vikas Dahiya, Suraj Karkera
Defenders: Varun Kumar, Dipsan Tirkey (vc), Hardik Singh, Gurinder Singh, Harmanpreet Singh, Anand Lakra
Midfielders: Nilakanta Sharma, Harjeet Singh, Santa Singh, Sumit, Shamsher Singh
Forwards: Armaan Qureshi, Gurjant Singh, Manpreet, Parvinder Singh, Ajay Yadav, Simranjeet Singh, Ajit Kumar