The India men’s hockey team will round its preparations for the upcoming Asian Games with an 11-day camp at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) centre in Bengaluru starting on Wednesday. The camp will include seven standby players besides the 18-member selected squad.
After a hectic 21 days where the national campers played back-to-back matches against Bangladesh, South Korea and New Zealand as part of their preparations for the upcoming tournament, the players were given a much-needed break to recover and return fresh for the national camp which concludes on August 11.
“We will be starting high-intensity training after a gap of almost one week. The rest was much-needed after a hectic and busy schedule where the players played high-tempo matches against Bangladesh, South Korea and New Zealand,” chief coach Harendra Singh said in a statement.
India, who are the defending champions, have been grouped in Pool A along side South Korea, Japan, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong China and Indonesia.
“This break was essential because now the players will report with a fresh mind and fresh legs for the final preparatory camp before heading for the most important Asian Games where we want to seal the Olympic qualification by winning gold,” Hiarendra said.
“In the camp, we will continue working on all aspects of the game with specific focus on converting opportunities in the striking circle. We will work on the short comings noticed during the New Zealand matches,” he added.
The chief coach is confident of his team’s prospects at the quadrennial event, which according to him will be a stepping stone towards the season-ending World Cup in Bhubaneswar.
“We are confident the team will take to the training sessions with high energy and they are aware that a successful Asian Games will be the right stepping stone for the season’s most-awaited Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar,” Haredndra said.
India squad: Goalkeepers: PR Sreejesh, Krishan B Pathak, Suraj Karkera; Defenders: Harmanpreet Singh, Varun Kumar, Birendra Lakra, Surender Kumar, Rupinder Pal Singh, Amit Rohidas, Kothajit Singh Khadangbam, Jarmanpreet Singh; Midfielders: Manpreet Singh, Chinglensana Singh Kangujam, Simranjeet Singh, Sardar Singh, Vivek Sagar Prasad, Nilakanta Sharma, Sumit; Forwards: S V Sunil, Mandeep Singh, Akashdeep Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Dilpreet Singh, Sumit Kumar, Shilanand Lakra.