Düsseldorf: The Indian Junior Men’s Hockey Team will begin their campaign at the 4 Nations Tournament – Dusseldorf 2023 against Spain on Friday, 18th August.
India will square off against the hosts Germany on 19th August, and England on 21st August with the Final set to take place on 22nd August. The tournament will be part of the preparations for the upcoming FIH Hockey Men’s Junior World Cup 2023, scheduled to be played in Malaysia from 5th December to 16th December 2023.
The Indian team will be entering into the competition after the completion of the National Coaching Camp at SAI Centre in Bengaluru, which was held between June 2023 and August 2023.
Before the camp, the Indian Junior Men’s Team had earned qualification for the FIH Hockey Men’s Junior World Cup 2023 after winning the Men’s Junior Asia Cup 2023 trophy in Oman, defeating traditional rivals Pakistan 2-1 in a thrilling Final. With the historic victory, India also set a new record for the most titles (4) won at the Men’s Junior Asia Cup.
Vishnukant Singh will be leading the Indian Junior Men’s Team in the absence of Uttam Singh, who is unable to travel due to an injury he sustained during the training camp. Speaking on the importance of the tournament, Vishnukant said, “The tournament is a good opportunity for us to continue our growth and to gain experience of competing against some of the best teams in Europe, ahead of the all-important FIH Hockey Men’s Junior World Cup 2023. We have strong and experienced players in our squad and we will hope to continue to perform in the same vein we have done in recent tournaments. It will be important for us to get favourable results to gain confidence.”
Last time, the Indian Junior Men’s Hockey Team played against Spain was at the 2019 8 Nationals U-21 Men’s Tournament in Madrid, where Spain had won 3-1. Since 2016, Spain and India have squared off four times in which India have won thrice, while Spain have won once. Meanwhile, Indian Junior Men’s Hockey Team last faced off against Germany at the FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s Junior World Cup Bhubaneswar 2021 where India had suffered a 2-4 defeat. Since 2013, India have squared off against Germany on four occasions, and have won thrice, while Germany have won once.
Also, the Indian Junior Men’s Hockey Team will take on England for the first time since their 5-3 win over the opposition at the Uttar Pradesh Hockey Junior World Cup Men Lucknow 2016. This will only be the third time the two teams will take on each other since 2013.
Indian Junior Men’s Hockey Team Head Coach CR Kumar said, “Spain, Germany and England are all strong teams and we have closely followed their past few games. But our primary focus will remain on implementing our plans and playing according to our strengths. We have worked on certain areas at the camp where we needed to improve upon, and we will stick to our strategies to get positive results on the tour.”
Schedule of the Indian Junior Men’s Hockey Team:
- On 18th August 2023, India Vs Spain at 1430 hrs IST
- On 19th August 2023, India vs Germany at 2230 hrs IST
- On 21st August 2023, India vs England at 1330 hrs IST