Millennium Post

India start Oly preparation with Azlan Shah

India start Oly preparation with Azlan Shah
Already assured of a place in the Rio Olympics, Asian Games champions India will start their preparations for the mega-event with the 24th Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament where they would face Korea in their opening match on Sunday.

Given that India have already qualified for the Olympics, it was expected that the Asian Games gold-medallists will use the Azlan Shah Cup as a testing ground for youngsters. But the national committee and team management have made their intentions clear by handpicking the strongest possible side under Sardar Singh’s leadership. India have gone for a strong 18-member squad with
just three changes from last December’s Champions Trophy in Bhubaneswar.

Midfielder Danish Mujtaba, striker Lalit Upadhyay and defender Gurjinder Singh are the three players to miss out and in their place, midfielder Chinglensana Singh and forwards Satbir Singh and Mandeep Singh have been drafted into the side.

Also post the Terry Walsh era, the team is presently witnessing a transition phase. It might be an invitational tournament, but the six-nation Azlan Shah Cup holds great significance for the Indian
team, especially with a new coach in Dutchman Paul van Ass at the helm.

The Azlan Shah Cup will be Van Ass’ first international assignment with India and expectedly the pressure would be high on the Dutchman. “I have spent a good amount of time with the team and I understand them more each day. The aim is not to make major changes but to adapt to the new system,” Van Ass said. 


Our contributor helps bringing the latest updates to you

Share it