New Delhi [India], October 2 (ANI): Hockey India on Monday announced the 20-member sub-junior men and women squads that will embark on a tour of the Netherlands, scheduled from October 9 to October 16. This historic tour marks the first time that the Indian Sub Junior Men and Women's Teams will compete in international matches, a testament to the growing prowess of Indian hockey at the grassroots level, while also elevating the country's stature on the global hockey stage.
During this tour, the Indian Sub Junior Men's Team will face off against the Netherland Boys U18 team and the Netherland Boys U16 side, with two games scheduled against each, as per a press release from Hockey India.
On the other hand, the Indian Sub Junior Women's Team will battle it out against the Netherland Girls U18 team and the Netherland Girls U16 side, also playing two games against each opponent.
Also, during the tour, Indian Sub Junior Men and Women's Teams will play a match against the Men and Women's teams of a senior club in the Netherlands.
Notably, the Indian Sub Junior Men's team will be Captained by Manmeet Singh Rai, while Aashu Maurya will serve as the Vice Captain. For the Indian Sub Junior Women's Team, Bhavya has been appointed as the Captain, while Rajni Kerketta has been named as the Vice Captain.
Meanwhile, coaches of the Sub Junior Men and Women's Teams expressed their excitement about this tour.
Indian Sub Junior Men's Team Coach Sardar Singh said, "This tour represents a historic milestone in the journey of our budding talents. We are exhilarated about this opportunity for our young players to showcase their skills on the grand international stage. The experience gained here will be a catalyst for their growth and development as they take their first steps toward becoming future stalwarts of Indian hockey."Also, Indian Sub Junior Women's Team Coach Rani Rampal expressed her thoughts on the tour and commented, "Our girls have put in relentless effort, displaying commendable dedication and spirit during the National Coaching Camp, and we believe this tour will be a valuable stepping stone in their careers. Playing against strong international opposition will provide them with the exposure and experience, which are vital elements for their progression to the highest levels of the sport. We believe in their potential to shine brightly on this global stage."The teams are as follows:Sub Junior Men's Squad:GOALKEEPER: Rahul BhardwajDEFENDERS: Rohit Kullu, Pradip Mandal, Sohil Ali, Ujjwal Pal, Sukhmanpreet Singh, Aashu Maurya (Vice Captain), NeerajMIDFIELDERS: Rahul Yadav, Rohit Tirkey, Suresh Sharma Adhikarimayum, Manmeet Singh Rai (Captain), Rahul Rajbhar, Ghuran LohraFORWARDS: Ritender Singh, Deepak Pradhan, Ajeet Yadav, Ketan Kushwaha, Rohit Irengbam Singh, Srijan YadavSub-Junior Women's Squad:GOALKEEPERS: Hodam Pabitra Devi, Tarra SailajaDEFENDERS: Bhavya (Captain), Komal Pal, Parwati Topno, Ritika AhirwarMIDFIELDERS: Rajni Kerketta (Vice Captain), Tamanna, Karuna Minz, Priyanka, Tanuja Toppo, Kajal Pundir, KirtiFORWARDS: Krishna Sharma, Kajal, Purnima Yadav, Switi Dungdung, Doli Bhoi, Nisha Dadel, Ravina. (ANI)