Indian hockey team to leave for World Cup preparatory camp in Europe on Wednesday
India will play five practice games during the tour of Europe - two against The Netherlands, two against Dutch National Clubs and one against Belgium. The hockey World Cup is scheduled to be held at The Hague, Netherlands from May 31 to June 15.
Gearing up to present a strong challenge at the upcoming World Cup, the Indian hockey team will head for a tour of Europe on Wednesday to play five build-up games -- including two against World Cup hosts The Netherlands. The team will also play two matches against Dutch National Clubs and one against Belgium during the trip which would conclude on April 19. The World Cup is scheduled to be held at The Hague, Netherlands from May 31 to June 15. (Click here for latest on Hockey)
Speaking on the preparations of the team, coach Terry Walsh said the trip to Europe would be of immense help as the World Cup will be held The Netherlands. "This trip will enable the players and staff to simulate major aspects for the upcoming World Cup and one of the most significant aspects will be playing on the same surface which will be used during the World Cup," Walsh said.
"Our squad has been focusing on several key areas of performance in the camp during last one month and the aspects requiring fine tuning will be identified for the final training phase leading into the World Cup.
"The experience of playing purely European styles will be important for the team. Our ability to grow and display progression in our self belief as an international sporting team will be under the closest scrutiny. We will be much wiser upon our return I am sure," he added.
The 21-member squad will be captained by midfielder Sardar Singh with defender Rupinder Pal Singh being his deputy. During this tour, India will play two games against The Netherlands, two against Dutch National Clubs and one against Belgium.
Goalkeepers: P R Sreejesh, Harjot Singh
Defenders: Birendra Lakra, Rupinder Pal Singh (Vice-Captain), V R Raghunath, Kothajit Singh, Gurinder Singh, Gurbaj Singh
Midfielders: Sardar Singh (Captain), S K Uthappa, Dharamvir Singh, Manpreet Singh, Chinglensana Singh Kangujam, Danish Mujtaba, Devindar Walmiki
Forwards: S V Sunil, Nikkin Thimmaiah, Akashdeep Singh, Ramandeep Singh, Yuvraj Walmiki, Lalit Upadhyay.