Hockey India on Tuesday named the Indian team for the highly anticipated FIH Hockey Men's Junior World Cup, set to take place from December 5 to 16 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The team will be led by Uttam Singh while Araijeet Singh Hundal will be his deputy.
India finds itself in an exciting Pool C alongside Canada, Korea, and Spain. Their journey commences on December 5 with a clash against Korea, followed by battles against Spain and Canada on December 7 and 9, respectively.
In the tournament's other pools, Pool A boasts defending Champions Argentina, along with Australia, Chile, and host nation Malaysia. Pool B includes Egypt, France, Germany, and South Africa. Pool D sets the stage for fierce competition with Belgium, Netherlands, New Zealand, and Pakistan vying for a Quarter-Finals berth.
The Quarter-Finals are slated for December 12, followed by the Semi-Finals on December 14, with the Final taking place on December 16.
In the prior edition of the tournament, India narrowly missed securing the bronze medal, finishing fourth and this time they will aim to go all the way.
The squad encompasses a talented array of players, including goalkeepers Mohith H S and Ranvijay Singh Yadav. Defenders Shardanand Tiwari, Amandeep Lakra, Rohit, Sunil JoJo, and Amir Ali have all earned their spots.
The midfield is fortified by the presence of Vishnukant Singh, Poovanna C B, Rajinder Singh, Amandeep, and Aditya Singh.
The forward line showcases the skills and talents of Uttam Singh, Aditya Lalage, Araijeet Singh Hundal, Sourabh Anand Kushwaha, Sudeep Chirmako, and Boby Singh Dhami.
Additionally, defender Sukhvinder and midfielder Sunit Lakra have been named as replacement players for this prestigious event.
Speaking about the team selection, junior team coach CR Kumar, said: “As reigning Asian champions, the prospect of showcasing our skills on the global stage fills us with immense excitement. Our track record in previous Junior Men's tournaments, yielding positive results, has instilled confidence in our abilities to compete at a higher level.
"This time, we present a well-rounded, formidable squad, marking a significant shift in our approach towards the Junior World Cup. Moreover, we draw inspiration from the legacy created by the 2016 Junior World Cup-winning team and aspire to meet the expectations it has set."
"To aid us in this endeavour, we are fortunate to have a bunch of seasoned players, who were part of the last Junior World Cup in Bhubaneswar. They will shoulder leadership roles and mentor their teammates. Our ultimate priority is to clinch victory in the Junior World Cup, and we are committed to taking measured steps toward achieving this goal,” he added.
Goalkeepers: Mohith H S and Ranvijay Singh Yadav.
Defenders: Shardanand Tiwari, Amandeep Lakra, Rohit, Sunil JoJo, Amir Ali
Midfielders: Vishnukant Singh, Poovanna C B, Rajinder Singh, Amandeep, and Aditya Singh
Forward: Uttam Singh (C), Aditya Lalage, Araijeet Singh Hundal, Sourabh Anand Kushwaha, Sudeep Chirmako, and Boby Singh Dhami.
Replacement players: Sukhvinder and Sunit Lakra