14 May 2014: Sardar Singh will lead Indian Men Hockey Team for the Rabobank Hockey World Cup 2014 to be played in The Hague (The Netherlands) commencing 31st May 2014 till 15th June 2014.
The team was announced at a mega event ogranised at Hotel Holiday Inn in New Delhi. As Gurbaj Singh makes a come back, Jasjit Singh will be making his debut on the international platform. Rupinder Pal Singh will be supporting Sardar Singh as the Vice-Captain.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Narinder Batra, Secretary General, Hockey India said, “I am very happy and content to see a strong squad on whom we can bank upon and expect good results. These men have shown utmost determination and claimed a deserving spot in the World Cup team for themselves. We wish them all the best and hope to see them giving a tough fight to the opponents.”
Speaking on the preparations of the team, Head Coach Terry Walsh said “Preparations for the 2014 World Cup to be held in The Hague have had a major focus in physiological improvement and identification of the key playing concepts we believe can produce the most powerful performance with appropriate implementation. The World Cup in Holland is a huge challenge for us and we as a team of players and support staff are really excited with the opportunities ahead. Nothing will be easy, we know that. We are excited about being measured alongside the world’s best. We are honoured to have the victorious World Champions of 1975 with us and we hope we can produce performances they and the rest of Indian hockey can be proud.”
Speaking on the preparations of the team, Captain Sardar Singh said “I am honored to lead the team while playing my second World Cup. We have the world’s best coaches who have trained us hard both physically and mentally to put up a good show and deliver better results in the matches. Each member of the team is confident of performing well and live upto the expectations of everyone”
A total of 33 players selected as the probables for the World Cup two months ago, went under rigorous training sessions and worked on new set of skills and techniques under Chief Coach Terry Walsh. The selection trials were conducted at Major Dhyan Chand National Hockey Stadium in the capital on 5th and 6th of May 2014, wherein the selection committee consisting of B.P Govinda, Dr. R.P Singh, Arjun Halappa along with Director High Performance Roelant Oltmans and Chief Coach Men Hockey Team Terry Walsh selected best of the 18 players and 7 standbys with respect to their exceptional performance and adaptability to new experiments and techniques.
The team will be playing under the Captaincy of Sardar Singh with PR Sreejesh and Harjot Singh as the goalkeepers, Gurbaj Singh making his comeback at the defender’s position supporting other defenders such as Rupinder Pal Singh, VR Raghunath, Birendra Lakra, Kothajit Singh Khadangbam and Manpreet Singh. The Midfielders along with Captain Sardar Singh will include
SK Uthappa, Dharamvir Singh, Jasjit Singh and Chinglensana Singh. The forward position will see SV Sunil, Ramandeep Singh, Akashdeep Singh, Nikkin Thimmaiah and Mandeep Singh in action, completing the troop of 18 hand-picked gems to represent India.
The team will be taking off for The Hague (The Netherlands) on the 21st May 2014. India is placed in Pool “A” along with Australia, Belgium, England, Spain and Malaysia and will compete against Belgium in their first match, scheduled on the 31st May 2014 at 8:30 pm (IST).
Indian team for Rabobank Hockey World Cup 2014 is as following:
GOALKEEPERS: P.R Sreejesh – 94 Caps; Harjot Singh – 4 Caps;
DEFENDERS: Gurbaj Singh – 158 Caps; Rupinder Pal Singh – 83 Caps (Vice-Captain); V.R Raghunath – 154 Caps; Birendra Lakra – 65 Caps; Kothajit Singh Khadangbam – 65 Caps; Manpreet Singh – 91 Caps;
MIDFIELDER: Sardar Singh – 180 Caps (Captain); S.K Uthappa – 48 Caps; Dharamvir Singh – 69 Caps; Jasjit Singh – 0 Cap; Chinglensana Singh – 46 Caps;
FORWARD: S.V Sunil – 131 Caps; Ramandeep Singh – 11 Caps; Akashdeep Singh – 35 Caps; Nikkin Thimmaiah – 11 Caps; Mandeep Singh – 34 Caps
STANDBYS: Gurpreet Singh- Goalkeeper; Vikram Kanth- Defender; Gurinder Singh- Defender; Danish Mujtaba- Midfielder; Devindar Walmiki- Midfielder; Lalit Upadhyay- Forward; Yuvraj Walmiki- Forward;