Hockey team arrives in Chennai to participate in Asian Championship


Indian Men’s Hockey team arrived at Chennai Airport on Tuesday ahead of Asian Men’s Hockey Champions Trophy 2023 which will begin on Thursday. Men’s Hockey team chief Coach Craig Fulton arrived at the Chennai airport where he said that his team will try to do well in the tournament and they are excited to play at home.
Hockey India on July 25 announced the 18-member men’s hockey team that will compete in the Asian Champions Trophy Chennai 2023. India will face Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, Japan, and China during the Pool stage of the tournament. The Asian Champions Trophy Chennai 2023 will also serve as a preparation event for the crucial Hangzhou Asian Games 2023. The team will continue to be led by ace drag-flicker and defender Harmanpreet Singh and Vice Captained by the prolific midfielder Hardik Singh. PR Sreejesh and Krishan Bahadur Pathak have been named as the team’s designated goalkeepers, while Jarmanpreet Singh, Sumit, Jugraj Singh, Harmanpreet Singh, Varun Kumar, and Amit Rohidas have been named as defenders. Meanwhile, the midfield will be led by Hardik Singh, Vivek Sagar Prasad, Shamsher Singh, and Nilakanta Sharma. Furthermore, Manpreet Singh will return to the midfield after previously being listed as a defender during the European leg of the Pro League. Akashdeep Singh, Mandeep Singh, Gurjant Singh, Sukhjeet Singh, and S Karthi comprised the forward line.
The Indian men’s hockey team captain Harmanpreet Singh and vice-captain Hardik Singh talked about the team’s preparations for the upcoming important tournaments including the Asian Champions Trophy Chennai 2023 which will be followed by the Hangzhou Asian Games, where the Indian team will be competing for direct qualification of the Paris Olympic Games 2024. In the latest episode of Hockey Te Charcha, a podcast series launched by Hockey India, Harmanpreet Singh and Hardik Singh stressed the significance of special camps conducted by Goalkeeping Coach Dennis van de Pol from the Netherlands, as well as the appointment of mental health conditioning coach Paddy Upton, ahead of crucial tournaments. “The next two months are very important for us. At the Hero Asian Champions Trophy Chennai 2023, we have this opportunity of playing quality matches before the Hangzhou Asian Games. It will be a good experience for the players.
We have to make sure that we execute our strategies that we have worked on and I am sure that the tournament will be helpful for the players,” the Captain added. The upcoming Asian Champions Trophy which is a marquee event in the Asian Hockey Federation’s calendar is being held in India for the first time. Incidentally, Chennai is a very special venue for the India Captain as he was spotted by the then High-Performance Director of Hockey India Roelant Oltmans during the Hockey India Junior National Championships.
“I remember when the junior squad was to be announced in 2015, I was in Chennai playing the nationals, which we won. At that point of time, Roelant Oltmans was there to see the matches and we were playing the final against Haryana.
After that, I got called up for the national camp and then made my senior debut in the same year.”Meanwhile, Hardik Singh expressed his thoughts about international matches returning to Chennai after 16 long years. The last time Chennai hosted an international hockey event was in 2007 when the Indian Men’s Hockey Team lifted the 2007 Men’s Asia Cup Trophy after defeating South Korea 7-2.