Out to Russia for the EurAsia Cup 2016, the Indian Junior Men’s Hockey team will face Dinamo Stroitel tomorrow, 9th July. While the junior team would like to take a leaf out of confidence from the Senior team to perform at their best against the team in the tournament starting tomorrow, they’ll also try to make a serious claim at the Junior World Cup scheduled later this year.
Later this year, the FIH Junior World Cup is scheduled at Lucknow, India and these matches will give an opportunity to the think tank which is focusing on developing a squad with an experience of playing together.
The captain & defender, Dipsan Tirkey, showed confidence in the team and said, “The idea behind these tours is not just to gain experience individually, but to gain experience as a side. It is important we know each other’s games completely, know the weaknesses and our strengths so that we can play up from them,” he said. “A large part of this squad has experience of playing in the Coal India HIL, a huge positive for us and for Indian hockey itself, so we can match up to senior squads at a certain level. Now, these kinds of tournaments can reduce the gap even further.”
A team with Coach Harendra Singh, known for his preference to a competitive team over individual stars in the team, would like to prove it as a role-based integrated team out to take on the opponents. The primary objective of this team will be to gain perspective about their abilities and learn from the experience of playing on the big stage.
Speaking about the team and planning ahead, Coach Harendra Singh added, “The idea behind a strong youth team is not just to win and play tournaments at this level, but also have a steady production line of prospects up for the senior team.
Speaking further he said,”For that to happen, the gap between the two must not be too varied. With Harmanpreet and Harjeet staking strong claims in the senior side right now, we have already proved that India has a huge depth in talent. Now the trick is to ensure consistency. This has to happen regularly.”
The Indian team will travel to England for a six match series later in the month in line with their preparations for the Junior World Cup.