HI names 32 players for National Coaching Camp ahead of Belgium tie

Dragflicker Varun Kumar returned to action after recovering from a nerve injury as Hockey India on Saturday named 32 players for the men’s National Coaching Camp ahead of next month’s FIH Pro League tie against World Champions Belgium.

After making a good start to their maiden campaign at the FIH Hockey Pro League with impressive wins over the Netherlands, the Indian men’s team will regroup for the Camp in Bhubaneswar ahead of their tie against Belgium to be held February 8 and 9.

The Core Group remains a mix of experienced and young players including PR Sreejesh, Krishan Bhadur Pathak, Suraj Karkera, Harmanpreet Singh, Surender Kumar, Birendra Lakra, Rupinder Pal Singh, Gurinder Singh, Amit Rohidas, Kothajit Singh Khadangbam, Manpreet Singh, Hardik Singh, Nilakanta Sharma and Vivek Sagar Prasad.

Chinglensana Singh, who made a good comeback against the Netherlands after a year-long hiatus, also finds his name in the group along with young Striker Dilpreet Singh, Rajkumar Pal, Nilam Sanjeep Xess and Dipsan Tirkey.

SV Sunil, Akashdeep Singh, Ramandeep Singh, Simranjeet Singh, Mandeep Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Gursahibjit Singh, Shamsher Singh, Jarmanpreet Singh, Jaskaran Singh, Gurjant Singh and Sumit too have been called up.

“The next two weeks, we will continue to stay focused on the process we have put in place. Improved fitness was one of our key strengths and it is important we keep up the optimal level,” said chief coach Graham Reid.

“The players got a good week’s break before returning to camp so I am expecting everyone to be fresh. As I had mentioned earlier, we need to improve one-on-one tackling, that will be one of the main focuses of our camp, and we look forward to the challenge against the World Champions.”