Imphal, Jan 27:
Manipur’s midfielders Nilakanta Sharma and Moirangthem Rabichandra Singh are among the 33 players selected for the new Senior Men Core probable Group who will play major International Tournaments this year starting with the FIH Hockey Pro League starting next month, as Hockey India announced.
The 33 players were chosen following a three-week camp for a group of 60 players who were called-up to SAI, Bengaluru basis their performances in various Hockey India Annual National Tournaments.
The 33-member core group features a mix of veteran stars such as Skipper Manpreet Singh, PR Sreejesh, who has been nominated for the World Games Athlete of the Year 2021 award, Harmanpreet Singh, Surender Kumar, Mandeep Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay among other Olympic Heroes who were part of the Tokyo Olympics Bronze Medal feat.
The Core group also includes youngsters Mandeep Mor, penalty corner specialist Jugraj Singh, speedy strikers Abhishek and Sukhjeet Singh. Sanjay and Moirangthem Rabichandra Singh who were part of the FIH Hockey Men’s Junior World Cup in Bhubaneswar last December have also been named in the list. Apart from the 33, Simranjeet Singh and Gurinder Singh will also remain in SAI, Bengaluru to undergo rehabilitation.
Speaking about the new core group for 2022, Chief Coach Graham Reid said, “We have used the last three weeks to have a look at the next layer of players in the country. Today we have chosen 33 which allows us to refresh and bring some new faces into the squad. This is an important year for us and this new squad will help us face these challenges head on.”
Reid further highlighted about the centralized training program which has been a boon in these pandemic times, and believes this approach is great for building a strong team. “One thing that was certain was all 60 players who had come into the National Camp improved during the three weeks of camp making it extremely difficult to pick the final 33 for the core group. This shows you how a centralised environment with good tempo of training and games can improve players.”
List of 33 players selected for the new Senior Men Core Group
Goalkeepers; Krishan Bahadur Pathak, Sreejesh Parattu Raveendran, Suraj Karkera
Defenders : Jarmanpreet Singh, Surender Kumar, Harmanpreet Singh, Nilam Sanjeep Xess, Dipsan Tirkey, Varun Kumar, Amit Rohidas, Mandeep Mor, Sanjay, Jugraj Singh
Midfielders : Manpreet Singh, Hardik Singh, Sumit, Nilakanta Sharma, Shamsher Singh, Rajkumar Pal, Jaskaran Singh, Vivek Sagar Prasad, Moirangthem Rabichandra Singh, Ashis Kumar Topno.
Forwards : Dilpreet Singh, Gurjant Singh, Mandeep Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Akashdeep Singh, Gursahibjit Singh, Shilanand Lakra, Abhishek, Sukhjeet Singh, Mohd. Raheel Mouseen.
In Rehabilitation: Simranjeet Singh, Gurinder Singh.