Sar­dar, Su­nil re­turn as Mar­i­jne takes charge ahead of Asia Cup

The Free Press Journal - - SPORTS -

Vet­er­ans Sar­dar Singh and S.V. Su­nil re­turned as new chief coach Sjo­erd Mar­i­jne on Saturday named the In­dian hockey squad for the Hero Asia Cup, start­ing on Oc­to­ber 11 in Dhaka.

Mid­fielder Man­preet Singh was named the cap­tain of the 18-mem­ber squad. For­ward S.V Su­nil will be the vice-cap­tain, Hockey In­dia (HI) said in a state­ment. Su­nil and Sar­dar were rested for the Euro­pean Tour.

Goal­keep­ers Akash Chikte and Su­raj Kark­era re­tained their spots in the squad whereas de­fend­ers Har­man­preet Singh and Suren­der Ku­mar made a re­turn af­ter be­ing rested for the Europe Tour.

The 18-mem­ber squad will also see the re­turn of for­wards Akashdeep Singh and Sat­bir Singh.

The de­fence line-up has young play­ers in Dip­san Tirkey, Kotha­jit Singh, Suren­der Ku­mar, Har­man­preet Singh and Varun Ku­mar, with Rupin­der Pal Singh re­cov­er­ing from an in­jury.

Vet­eran goal­keeper P.R. Sree­jesh too is not part of the team as he is yet to fully re­cover from an in­jury.

Com­ment­ing on the team com­bi­na­tion, Mar­i­jne said: "I am look­ing for­ward to work­ing with the team which has been picked to have a good blend of ex­pe­ri­ence and youth.

"The up­com­ing Hero Asia Cup 2017 will be our first tour­na­ment to­gether, and I am very ex­cited to see how the team ex­presses their lead­er­ship qual­i­ties on the field.

"I have pre­vi­ously watched the team live in Nether­lands, and I feel that the energy within the team and their play is very im­pres­sive. We will be fo­cus­ing on per­form­ing well as a team and will be aim­ing to win the tour­na­ment," he added.

Dutch­man Mar­i­jne takes over from sacked Roe­lant Olt­mans. Mar­i­jne was ear­lier with the In­dian women's team.

In­dia fea­ture in Pool A along­side Ja­pan, hosts Bangladesh and Pak­istan. The blue sticks will start their tour­na­ment against Ja­pan on Oc­to­ber 11 be­fore fac­ing Bangladesh on Oc­to­ber 13.

The team will play their third and fi­nal league match of the tour­na­ment against Pak­istan on Oc­to­ber 15.

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