~ Captained by Uttam Singh is optimistic of a good show ~
Among the best and brightest players in the country, the Indian Junior Men’s Hockey Team have their task cut out, as they look to begin their campaign at the Sultan of Johor Cup Malaysia 2022 starting 22nd October with a bang.
Up first for India, who are two-time Champions, are hosts Malaysia, who will have the might of the home support in their corner. Captained by Uttam Singh in the tournament, the Indian Junior Men’s Hockey Team will be quite confident, especially because a number of the core group are the same from their Men’s FIH Hockey Junior World Cup 2021 campaign. India had finished fourth.
“The Sultan of Johor Cup Malaysia 2022 is a very big tournament in the calendar and we are prepared for this challenge. This tournament will give us a sense of where we start among top teams as we are preparing for the upcoming FIH Hockey Men’s Junior World Cup,” Uttam Singh said.
After the opening game against Malaysia, India takes on South Africa on 23rd October. And after a breather of a couple of days, Captain Uttam Singh and co face Japan on 25th October, followed by a match against Australia the day after. They will take on Great Britain on 28th October while the finals will be held on 29 October.
“We will face talented and tough oppositions all through the tournament and expect no easy games. It will be important to execute our plans properly on the field otherwise the opposition will take advantage of the situation. We’ll take it one game at a time,” the skipper said.
Barring the 2011 and 2016 editions of the Sultan of Johor Cup Malaysia, the Indian Junior Men’s Team have finished with a medal on every occasion. In 2019, which is when the last edition of the tournament was held, the Indian Junior Men’s Team finished with the Silver.
Speaking on the rich history and the way forward for the young side, Coach CR Kumar said, “This is a good Indian Junior Men’s Team and I am confident that they will not disappoint. The aim is always to win our games one by one and be the better team on the pitch. We have a well-balanced team with almost seven players who were part of the 2021 Junior World Cup team and some of them have also had a stint with the Senior Men’s team.”