New Delhi, Nov 30 (IANS): Hockey India on Thursday announced the 24-member Indian Men's Hockey Team for the upcoming 5 Nations Tournament Valencia 2023, scheduled to be held from December 15 to 22 in Valencia, Spain.
India will play against hosts Spain, Germany, France and Belgium in the 5 Nations tournament, which will serve as the preparatory event ahead of the 2023-24 FIH Hockey Pro League games.
The 24-member squad features a mix of experienced and young faces, who will be led by ace drag-flicker Harmanpreet Singh. Sumit and Amit Rohidas have been named as Harman’s deputies for this tour.
The goalkeeping department will see the return of Suraj Karkera to the squad, along with regular features PR Sreejesh and Krishan B Pathak. In defence, Captain Harmanpreet Singh will lead the charge alongside Jarmanpreet Singh, Jugraj Singh, Amit Rohidas, Varun Kumar, Sumit, Sanjay and Nilam Sanjeep Xess.
The midfield features Vivek Sagar Prasad, Nilakanta Sharma, Rajkumar Pal, Shamsher Singh, and young faces like Yashdeep Siwach and Rabichandra Singh Moirangthem.
Meanwhile, the forward line comprises Mandeep Singh, Abhishek, Sukhjeet Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Karthi Selvam, Dilpreet Singh and Akashdeep Singh.
Speaking on the team selection, Indian Men's Hockey Team Chief Coach Craig Fulton said, "We are going with a well-balanced side with a good mix of youth and experience. The tournament provides us with a great platform to try out different things and adjust ourselves accordingly. It also provides the younger players with a great opportunity to showcase their talent and experience the pressure of facing the top teams in the world."
"The next seven months are very important for us, we have a lot of games to play before the Paris 2024 Olympics, and it's very important we follow a process and go step-by-step," he added.