New Delhi [India], Oct 14 (ANI): Vivek Sagar Prasad will lead the 18-member Indian junior men's hockey team while Pratap Lakra will be his deputy for the 7th Sultan of Johor Cup 2017, beginning October 22 in Johor Bahru, Malaysia.
The Indian colts will take on Japan in their opening match.
The junior men's hockey team have been at the National Camp at SAI, Lucknow since September 11 where they have been training for the upcoming tournament.
During the course of the camp, team coach Jude Felix, has tried and tested all the players from the Core Group, and has selected a balanced 18-member squad which will look to perform well at the upcoming tournament in Malaysia.
Goalkeepers Pankaj Kumar Rajak and Senthamizh Arasu Shankar will be protected by Suman Beck, Pratap Lakra, Sukhjeet Singh, Varinder Singh, Mandeep Mor and Sanjay in defence.
The midfield will comprise of Harmanjit Singh, Rabichandra Singh Moirangthem, Vivek Sagar Prasad, Vishal Singh and Vishal Antil, while Shilanand Lakra, Raushan Kumar, Abhishek, Dilpreet Singh and Maninder Singh will lead the forward line.
The Indian team will be participating in the tournament after a gap of one year as they finished second in the 5th Sultan of Johor Cup in 2015 where they lost to Great Britain in the Final.
However, that podium finish had given the Indian team a lot of experience which helped them in winning the Uttar Pradesh Hockey Junior World Cup Men Lucknow 2016. Coach Jude Felix is expecting a same kind of exposure for his team which should help them in preparing for the future tournaments.
"The Junior Men's Team has been training with the objective of performing well at the upcoming Sultan of Johor Cup. We have a very strong pool of players at the Junior level who believe in themselves, and this tournament will give the right amount of exposure to this young talent. I believe this will be a start to our long term objective of retaining the World Cup title at this level," said Coach Jude Felix.
Ahead of their departure for the 7th Sultan of Johor Cup, the junior men's national squad will continue to train until October 17.(ANI)