The core group of Indian men’s hockey team reach Delhi on Saturday from Bangalore for the second phase of the Olympic qualification preparatory camp. The camp got underway at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium, New Delhi, on Sunday, which is also the venue of 1st Olympic Qualifiers for London Olympics 2012. Chief coach Michael Nobbs and exercise physiologist David Ian John joined the probables for the camp after a short break in Australia for the Christmas and New Year.
Midfielder VS Vinaya, who is an expert on right flank, makes a return with the second phase of the camp. He last played for the country in the European tour in 2009, will aim to cement his place in the team after missing out during the whole important year of 2010, which included World Cup, Commonwealth Games and Asian Games. During this period he represented Barcelona in the Spanish League for few seasons. “I am happy to be back in the Indian camp. During the time I was out I played a lot of domestic tournaments, but what helped me most was my stint with Barcelona,” he said. While Yuvraj Walmiki and Rupinder Pal Singh are out of action for 2-3 weeks as they are recovering from injuries.
During the course of the camp, Indian men will play a five-test match series against South Africa which will also serve as the selection trials for the Olympic Qualification Tournament while their women counterparts will play 4 test match series against Azerbaijan between January 15 and 19. The women’s team took a short break after recent their tour of Argentina, where they played 2 four nation’s tournaments and finished 3rd in both after world champion hosts Argentina and South Africa. Since than they are in capital city preparing for Olympic Qualifiers.
The list of 45 core probable for men’s are as following:
Goalkeepers: Bharat Chetri, PR Shreejesh, Naveen Kumar, Nanak Singh.
Defenders: Rupinder Pal Singh, VR Raghunath, Amit Rohidas, Harbir Singh, Gurjinder Singh, Sandeep Singh.
Midfielders: Gurbaj Singh, Ignace Tirkey, Manpreet Singh, Manjeet Kullu, Vikas Sharma, Birendra Lakra, Vikram Pillay, Bharat Chhikara, SK Uthappa, VS Vinaya, Vikas Pillay, Belsajar Horo, Sardar Singh, Kothajit Singh, Pardeep Mor.
Forwards: Rajpal Singh, Danish Mujtaba, Sarvanjit Singh, SV Sunil, Ravi Pal, Gurvinder Singh Chandi, Roshan Minz, Yuvraj Walmiki, Mandip Antil, Chinglesana Singh Kangujam, Shivendra Singh, Arjun Halappa, Tushar Khandker, Dharamvir Singh, MB Aiyappa, Shashi Topno, Ramandeep Singh, Pradhan Somanna, Nithin Thimmaiah, Akashdeep Singh.