Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

The Hockey Association of Odisha on Wednesday announced their 18-member squad for the upcoming 13th Hockey India Sub Junior Men’s National Championship 2023. Commencing from May 18 till May 28 all of the tournament’s games are slated to take place at Rourkela’s Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium. There will be 28 teams participating and vying for the coveted title. 

The host State will be led by 15-year-old Ashish Kumar Toppo, with Bilkan Oram serving as the vice-captain. Goalkeepers Abhimanyu Gouda and Ronit Raj Xaxa will be the designated custodians between the posts.

Commenting on the upcoming tournament and that value it held for his squad, coach B J Kariappa said, “The boys are brimming with excitement and are eager to showcase their best on the field. It’s an incredible opportunity for our team to play in front of an enthusiastic audience and push their limits. We embrace the challenge and look forward to delivering an exhilarating performance, worthy of the stage.”

Sharing his thoughts, skipper Ashish Kumar Toppo said, “Playing at the World Cup venue is an exhilarating experience for us, and it brings a unique sense of pride and anticipation. We have dedicated ourselves to intense training, striving to excel under our coach’s guidance. The hard work and preparation have led us to this moment, and we eagerly await the opportunity to showcase our skills on such a grand stage. We are truly looking forward to it, ready to leave our mark and make our state proud.”

Hockey Odisha squad: Goalkeeper: Ronit Xaxa & Abhimanyu Gouda, Deep defender: Pradip Mandal, Rohit Kulu & Salmon Toppo, Flank defender: Bilkan Oram, Defensive midfielder: Sudarshan Goud, Amarjit Singh, Suresh Sharma, Attacking midfielder: Samir Barwa, Ashis Kumar Toppo & Swadhin  Lugun, Left striker: Yojin Minz, Nanwar Deonath, Centre striker: Rohit Singh, Right striker: Deepak Pradhan, Bidyananda Sing.