Ahead of the Odisha Hockey Men's World Cup, Hockey India on Wednesday named the 34-member core group for the final National camp.
The National Camp has given Chief Coach Harendra Singh the chance to work with the core group and allowed him to pick the final 18-member men's team for the tournament.
After having been declared as the joint winners at the recently-concluded 5th Men's Asian Champions Trophy in Muscat, the team will undergo intense training sessions under Singh, who is confident that the National Camp will give all the 34-members the chance to prove their mettle and book a place in the final squad.
"Our campaign at the 5th Men's Hero Asian Champions Trophy Muscat 2018 served as good preparation for the team before the Odisha Hockey Men's World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018, but now is the most critical time for us as we look to reinvigorate our spirits and work on the areas which need improvement. The National Camp will give all the 34 Core Group players the chance to work hard and show what edge they can provide to the team," the coach said.
The coach also said that the World No. 5 team will prepare for the mega-event by training in the host city to get acclimatised to the conditions before they start their campaign.
"We had trained in Bhubaneswar before the 5th Men's Hero Asian Champions Trophy to get used to the conditions there, and I believe that playing on the newly-laid turf at the Kalinga Hockey Stadium again before the World Cup will give us a good chance to prepare and analyse the most effective tactics and style of play, which can be used during the tournament. It is also crucial that we learn from our mistakes in all the previous tournaments this year, and work on minimising errors throughout the three areas of attack, midfield and defence. It is now time for all the Core Group players to step up and show what they can bring to the table," the coach added.
All the National Campers have been asked to report to the coach for a 23-day long training camp which will conclude on November 23 ahead of the much-awaited quadrennial event.
The 34-member Core Group includes three goalkeepers- PR Sreejesh, Suraj Karkera, and Krishan Pathak- while defenders Harmanpreet Singh, Gurinder Singh, Varun Kumar, Kothajit Singh Khadangbam, Surender Kumar, Amit Rohidas, Jarmanpreet Singh, Pardeep Singh, Suman Beck and Mandeep Mor have been called up.
Among midfielders, Manpreet Singh, Chinglensana Singh Kangujam, Sumit, Simranjeet Singh, Yashdeep Siwach and Vishal Antil have been selected, while Akashdeep Singh, Dilpreet Singh, Sumit Kumar, Gursahibjit Singh, and Shilanand Lakra have been selected as the forwards.
Meanwhile, ace striker Ramandeep Singh, who underwent a knee surgery after sustaining an injury during the FIH Champions Trophy earlier this year, along with seasoned defenders Rupinder Pal Singh and Birendra Lakra, will be re-joining the camp.
The 14th edition of Hockey Men's World Cup is scheduled to be held from November 28 to December 16 at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar, Odisha.
The following are the 34 national campers:
Goalkeepers- P R Sreejesh, Suraj Karkera, Krishan Bahadur Pathak
Defenders- Harmanpreet Singh, Gurinder Singh, Varun Kumar, Kothajit Singh Khadangbam, Surender Kumar, Amit Rohidas, Jarmanpreet Singh, Pardeep Singh, Suman Beck, Mandeep Mor, Birendra Lakra, Rupinder Pal Singh
Midfielders- Manpreet Singh, Chinglensana Singh Kangujam, Sumit, Simranjeet Singh, Nilakanta Sharma, Hardik Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Vivek Sagar Prasad, Yashdeep Siwach, Vishal Antil
Forwards- Akashdeep Singh, Gurjant Singh, Mandeep Singh, Dilpreet Singh, Sumit Kumar, Gursahibjit Singh, Shilanand Lakra, Ramandeep Singh, SV Sunil.