Mid-fielder Harjeet Singh will lead the India Junior Men team in the upcoming 5th Sultan of Johor Cup to be played in Johor Bahru, Malaysia from 11th to 18th October 2015.
Young blood from Sundargarh (Odisha), Dipsan Tirkey will support Harjeet as the Vice- Captain. Confident and geared up team India will play alongside Australia, Great Britain, Argentina, Pakistan and Malaysia. Being the two times defending champions the team will look at retaining its title by giving a tough fight to the opponents.
The 18-member squad, post finishing fourth in the recently culminated Volvo Invitational U-21 (Men) Tournament 2015 will be looking to bounce back to claim the title in the upcoming 5th Sultan of Johor Cup. The inaugural match will be etched in the minds of the spectators as India will contest their first match against arch-rival Pakistan, aiming to open the tourney on an endearing note (Full Schedule here).
Speaking on the team line-up, Captain Harjeet Singh said, “We are the defending champions and the boys are excited about retaining the title. We are not allowing pressure to take over us. The team is in a very good shape and confident to perform as per expectations in the upcoming 5th Sultan of Johor Cup. We are undergoing scrupulous training sessions and we feel huge improvement in the way we are passing the ball to each other and the way we are working on converting on opportunities. Also, we are effectively working on rectifying the mistakes committed in the previous tournaments which will help us to achieve desired goals.”
Commenting on the team’s preparation, Coach Harendra Singh said, “The boys are confident of the tournament ahead and they aim to retain the title. Our opening match is against Pakistan and the boys are excited about their clash against them. The team has worked on their game as per each teams’ performance in the recent past. We have spent time watching past videos, understanding where all did we make mistakes and how well do we ensure that the same is not repeated. The team is all geared up face the challenge ahead.”
Junior India Team for Sultan of Johor Cup 2015:
GOALKEEPERS: Suraj Karkera; Vikas Dahiya
DEFENDERS: Varun Kumar; Dipsan Tirkey – Vice Captain; Anand Lakra; Vikramjit Singh; Harmanpreet Singh
MIDFIELDERS: Nilakanta Sharma; Harjeet Singh – Captain; Santa Singh; Simranjeet Singh; Manpreet
FORWARDS: Arman Qureshi; Gurjant Singh; Ajay Yadav; Parvinder Singh; Sumit Kumar; Ajit Kumar Pandey
Pakistan team, which will face India in their opening game of Sultan of Johor Cup 2015, is as following
GOALKEEPERS: Talal Khalid and Ali Haider
FULL BACKS: Mubashir Baig, Faisal Shah and Atif? Mushtaq.
HALF BACKS: Faizan Jonty, Abu Bakhar, Mohammad Qasim, Sikandar Mustafa, M Adnan and Junaid Kamal.
FORWARDS: Shan Irshad, Azfa?r Yaqoob, Dilbar Hussain (Captain), Fahad, Sohail Riaz, M Atiq, Bilal Qadir, Adnan Anwar, Mohammad Naveed and Rizwan.
Reserves: Ali Raza. Full back: Zahidullah. Half back: Asfand Yaar. Forwards: Sohail Anjum, Mohsin Sabir.
“Almost half of the players have already represented Pakistan internationally while rest are fresh faces and are making their first tour abroad. The team consists of the best talent available amongst the probable turned up for camp training,” Olympian Rashid Junior, head of selection Pakistan committee said. He also added that three of the 21 players announced would return home before the start of the Junior Asia Cup.