2016–17 Men's FIH Hockey World League Final | Sportzwiki

2016–17 Men's FIH Hockey World League Final

For State Hockey Players, Volunteering At HWL Final An Inspiring Experience

Bhubaneswar, Nov 25 (IANS) With six days to go for the Hockey World League (HWL) Final Bhubaneswar 2017, hockey fever is gripping Odisha as international teams participating in the coveted season finale have started arriving.

While people are making a beeline to buy tickets for the matches, the eight-nation meet has turned out to be an amazing experience for the volunteers.

The mega event will see top teams in the world battle for supremacy starting December 1 when defending champions Australia will meet India in their first Pool B match while England will take on Germany.

For Nilam Sanjeep Xess, 18-year-old fullback from Bargarh district, volunteering at the tournament also means that he gets to watch and follow top international teams from close quarters.

Nilam is not new to international hockey. He was the skipper of the Indian U-18 Men’s Team that won the U-18 Men’s Asia Cup in 2016. He was also part of the India ‘A’ Team that participated at the Australian Hockey League (AHL) in Perth. With the tournament being played in his home state, he was more than excited to volunteer for the event.

Nilam will be among the 200 plus volunteers who have been engaged to ensure smooth operations during the prestigious event.

“It is great pride that such a big event is happening in my home state. Though during the Hockey India League, I have played with many of the players who will be here for the event, to watch them turn up for their national teams will be a different experience. 

“I can get to watch them closely, how they prepare before a match, how they unwind, how they train in practice session during tournaments. This will be an experience that will undoubtedly benefit me to improve my game too,” expressed the lanky Odisha lad.

“When the 2014 Champions Trophy took place here at the Kalinga Stadium, I watched all matches from the stands. I was inspired by the performances of our players there and decided then that I should also play for India. Now with a big event coming back to Bhubaneswar, it is inspiring for many of us to be part of it in some way or the other,” he added.

Like Nilam, four other state players Binit Ekka (18), left half for the state team, Ashwin Kujur (18) forward, Chandrakant Barik (20) fullback and Ashok Lakra (20) forward will be volunteering at the event.

While volunteering will be a great learning experience for the young lads, the fact that their home state players Dipsan Tirkey, Amit Rohidas and Birendra Lakra turning up in national colours is also a big inspiration for them.

Biswa Ranjan Sarangi (39), who officiated as a Judge at the recently held Hero Men’s Asia Cup, is also from Bhubaneswar and will be associated with the event as volunteer. He will be joined by national umpire Rajen Ekka and Nishan Jyoti Mohanty (31) as volunteer.

England and Defending Champions Australia, who are grouped with India in Pool B, will arrive at the Biju Patnaik International Airport on Sunday.

World No.3 Belgium too will land in the temple city of Bhubaneswar on Sunday, while Olympic champions Argentina, Germany and the Netherlands will arrive on Monday. Spain will arrive on November 28.

India will play their first practice match against Argentina on November 27 followed by a match against England on November 28.

Indian Hockey Squad Trains At Bhubaneswar Ahead Of HWL Final

Bhubaneswar, Nov 23 (IANS) India had their first training session on Thursday morning at the Kalinga Stadium here after arriving in the city on Wednesday for the Men’s Hockey World League (HWL) Final.

The team went through the paces under the watchful eyes of chief coach Sjoerd Marijne as it started its preparations for the eight-nation tournament, starting on December 1.

The 43-year-old Dutch coach emphasised on speed and tactical training as the 18-member squad played a short 30-minute half-court match against each other.

“Our first practice session went well. It is good to be at the Kalinga Stadium. While it is my first time here, for the players it is like home because all of them have played many Hockey India League Matches here. The pitch is fast so we like it,” Marijne expressed after the 90-minute training session.

The mega event will see top teams in the world battle for supremacy. Defending champions Australia will meet India in their first Pool B match while England will take on Germany.

The Pool B comprises Belgium, Argentina, The Netherlands and Spain.

In the next one week, Marijne wants to build the intensity during the training sessions. “The focus is to get the intensity higher and higher for our conditioning as we approach match day.

“Our preparations have been really good with the 18-day national camp in Bengaluru but there is scope to get our level higher ahead of the tournament. We play short matches among ourselves so we keep the guys in match momentum,” stated Marijne.

The team will play practice matches against Olympic gold medallists Argentina on November 27 and England on November 28 respectively.

“For me the most important thing is performance. Rupinder and Biru (Birendra Lakra) who are making a comeback also get an extra match before going into our first game against Australia. While I am happy with how the players have done in training, playing matches is always good. 

“It doesn’t matter that England are grouped with us. Playing practice match against any team is welcome and also both teams follow each other closely so there are not many secrets between each other,” he remarked.

Sardar, Ramandeep Rested For HWL Final

New Delhi, Nov 17 (IANS) Former captain Sardar Singh and forward Ramandeep were “rested” while experienced defenders Rupinder Pal Singh and Birendra Lakra returned to the Indian squad which was named on Friday for the Hockey World League (HWL) Final, starting on December 1 in Bhubaneswar.

Sardar Singh
Sardar Singh
Sardar, Ramandeep Rested For HWL Final 1
Ramandeep (Image Source: Google)

Hockey India (HI) chairman of selectors, Harbinder Singh, told IANS that their main aim is not only to ensure that the players remain injury-free ahead of 2018, which will see India play four big tournaments, but also to give chance to everyone.

“No one has been dropped. Players are getting rest. The squad members have been picked on rotation basis. Next year, we have four major tournaments lined up. So keeping players injury-free and fresh is important,” Harbinder reasoned.

Next year, India will compete in Commonwealth Games, FIH Champions Trophy, Asian Games and FIH World Cup.

Rupinder and Birendra returned after overcoming injuries, while experienced goalkeeper P.R. Sreejesh continues his recovery from an injury. The team will see Akash Chikte and Suraj Karkera guard the Indian goal-post.

However, the return of Punjab drag-flick specialist Rupinder and Odisha’s Birendra Lakra pleased chief coach Sjoerd Marijne.

“It is good to have Rupinder, who brings great experience, as well as Birendra back in the team. Both are 100 percent fit and eager to wear the India colours again,” stated the 43-year-old Dutch tactician.

Rupinder wrote on Twitter: “165 long days… They say, ‘Time flies’… but for me, it didn’t. I can remember each of those 4000+ hrs I spent trying to get back to where I belong. If this journey has taught me anything, it’s how Your Biggest Setback Is Also A Platform For Your Biggest Comeback! #3elief.”

The Indian team will be led by 25-year-old midfielder Manpreet Singh, while the responsibilities of his deputy will be shouldered by Chinglensana Singh. The midfield will see S.K. Uthappa, Kothajit Singh and Sumit join Manpreet and Chinglensana.

Junior World Cup-winning players Harmanpreet Singh, Varun Kumar and Dipsan Tirkey, who have had promising outings in Europe and Asia Cup, too find themselves in the squad for the season finale.

Moreover, in perhaps one of the best comeback stories of the year, Odisha’s defender Amit Rohidas, who had a fantastic outing in 2017 Coal India Hockey India League (HIL) that stemmed his return to the senior fold, has been rewarded with a place in the biggest tournament of the year.

“Amit was called-in as a replacement for Kothajit who had a hamstring injury just before we left for the Asia Cup. He flew in directly from Australia where he had played the Australian Hockey League for India ‘A’ team and he grabbed the opportunity with both hands,” stated the Dutchman.

He further added that the team will have drag-flick options in Rupinder, Harmanpreet, Varun, Amit and Dipsan. “We have five players in defence who can drag and have been putting in extra hours for penalty corner training which is great for the team,” Sjoerd said.

The forward-line will see the experienced S.V. Sunil along with Akashdeep Singh, Gurjant Singh who had a promising Asia Cup, Lalit Upadhyay and 22-year-old Mandeep Singh returning to the team after being rested for Asia Cup.

Marijne emphasised that this squad is a great mix of experienced seniors and energetic youngsters who will add to the team’s enthusiasm.

“I think this is a great mix and would especially like to see how the youngsters soak up the pressure of playing against higher ranked teams in the world. We will have to play every match like it is the Final and will have absolutely no room to make errors if we want to see ourselves on the podium,” concluded Marijne.

India are grouped with Australia, England and Germany in Pool B and will begin their campaign on the opening day against defending champions Australia.

The squad: 

Goalkeepers: Akash Anil Chikte, Suraj Karkera.

Defenders: Harmanpreet Singh, Amit Rohidas, Dipsan Tirkey, Varun Kumar, Rupinderpal Singh, Birendra Lakra.

Midfielders: Manpreet Singh (Captain), Chinglensana Singh (Vice-Captain), S.K. Uthappa, Sumit, Kothajit Singh.

Forwards: S.V. Sunil, Akashdeep Singh, Mandeep Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Gurjant Singh.

Hero Hockey Asia Cup 2017, India, Asian Champions, Beat, Malayasia, Manpreet Singh, Aakash Deep
Indian hockey team celebrates in India before lifting the third Asia Cup title. Photo Credit: Web.

Indian Hockey Team Gears Up Preparations For HWL Final

New Delhi, Nov 4 (IANS) After stamping their supremacy in the continent by winning the prestigious Asia Cup 2017, the Indian men’s team will regroup at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) Bengaluru for an 18-day national camp ahead of the all-important Hockey World League Final in Bhubaneswar, starting December 1.

The 35-member core group that includes the 18-member Asia Cup squad as well as players who were part of the India ‘A’ team that participated in the Australian Hockey League will be put to test starting November 5 in order to select the final team for the season finale in Odisha.

While there is no change in the core group which includes the likes of Manpreet Singh, S.V. Sunil, Sardar Singh, Harmanpreet Singh, Chinglensana Singh, Gurjant Singh, Ramandeep Singh, S.K. Uthappa, Harjeet Singh, Dipsan Tirkey, Akashdeep Singh, Varun Kumar, Armaan Qureshi, Affan Yousuf among others, goalkeepers Akash Chikte and Suraj Karkera will be joined by Vikas Dahiya and celebrated custodian P.R. Sreejesh, who is working on making a comeback after a long haul due to injury.

Dragflick specialist Rupinder Pal Singh, fullbacks Birender Lakra and Kothajit Singh too will be available for selection after injury lay-off while forward Mandeep Singh is back in the camp after being rested for the Asia Cup.

“It is not only the players making a come back after recovering from an injury who will have to prove their mettle but every single player will have to strive to make his position in the team for the Hockey World League Final in Bhubaneswar 2017. The standards are high to be selected in the team and that’s good because it makes players better,” chief coach Sjoerd Marijne said in a statement.

Not reading too much into the Asia Cup triumph, Marijne was modest to admit that the team needs to improve a lot more to achieve the desired results at the December event.

“Together we have to become more consistent. We have a tendency of dropping our level too low in a match where the opponent ends up coming back into the game. If we make too many technical errors the level drops and that’s one of the things we have to improve and focus upon during this camp,” he said.

Emphasising on room for improvement, the Dutchman was also quick to draw positives from his team’s abilities on the pitch.

“The team brings a lot of energy into matches. Our speed and fitness are strong points and if we combine this in a good way with our technical skills then we can be quite lethal,” he stated.

National Campers:

Goalkeepers: Akash Chikte, P.R. Sreejesh, Vikas Dahiya, Suraj Karkera;

Defenders: Dipsan Tirkey, Pardeep Mor, Birendra Lakra, Kothajit Singh, Surender Kumar, Rupinder Pal Singh, Harmanpreet Singh, Jasjit Singh Kular, Gurinder Singh, Amit Rohidas, Varun Kumar;

Midfielders: Chinglensana Singh, S.K. Uthappa, Sumit, Satbir Singh, Sardar Singh, Manpreet Singh, Harjeet Singh, Nilakanta Sharma, Manpreet (Junior), Simranjeet Singh;

Forwards: Ramandeep Singh, S.V. Sunil, Talwinder Singh, Mandeep Singh, Affan Yousuf, Nikkin Thimmaiah, Gurjant Singh, Akashdeep Singh, Lalit Upadhyay, Armaan Qureshi.

Online Ticket Sales Of HWL Final Begin

Bhubaneswar, Sep 15 (IANS) The online sale of the tickets for the eight-nation Hockey World League (HWL) Final matches, to be held at the Kalinga Stadium here in December, has begun, it was announced on Friday.

The tickets for the 10-day event, which is starting from December 1 will be priced at Rs 50 (East Stand) and Rs 250 (West Stand) and are now available online at www.ticketgenie.in, according to a release.

League matches will take place from December 1 to 5. The opening match of the tournament will see Germany play England on December 1, which will be followed by hosts India playing Australia in the second match.

India will also be in action on December 2 and 4 when they play England and Germany respectively at the Kalinga Stadium here.

All the participating eight teams, clubbed in two groups, will play three matches each during the league stage over the span of six days before going head-to-head to be crowned Champions of the third season of the coveted league which started back in April 2016.

Commenting on the development, Mohd. Mushtaque Ahmad, Hockey India Secretary General said: “Bhubaneswar is going to play host to one of the biggest events as we close the calendar year for world hockey with the Odisha Men’s Hockey World League Final 2017 taking place in December.”

“The tournament has already garnered a lot of interest among hockey buffs, not just from India but around the world, therefore, we wanted to make the tickets available for the public at an early stage and at accessible prices so that hockey lovers can plan their trip and come in huge numbers to support their favourite teams,” he added.

Bhubaneswar To Host Hockey World League Final 2017, World Cup 2018

Bhubaneswar, March 27 (IANS) Bhubaneswar will host the men’s hockey World League Final 2017 and World Cup 2018, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) and the government of Odisha confirmed on Monday.

It was also confirmed that Odisha will be the title sponsor of both events. As a result, the official event titles will be the Odisha Men’s Hockey World League Final Bhubaneswar 2017 and the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018, according to the FIH’s official statement.

Fans will descend upon the Kalinga Stadium here to share the glory of two of hockey’s biggest events, where World League and World Cup champions will be crowned.

The multi-purpose stadium, built in 2010, has facilities for athletics, football, basketball, tennis, table-tennis and swimming, ensuring that it is well-equipped to host international sporting events.

Commenting on the announcement, FIH CEO Jason McCracken said: “India is a nation with a proud hockey heritage with a history of hosting world-class sports events. Each time we return to the country, Hockey India raise the bar, embracing goals outlined in our 10-year Hockey Revolution strategy aimed at making our events innovative and exciting for our fans.”

“We have no doubt that the Odisha Men’s Hockey World League Final Bhubaneswar 2017 and the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018 will be unforgettable events for everyone involved,” he added.

FIH President Narinder Dhruv Batra also commented on the development and said: “Bhubaneswar is a city ready to welcome the world. Its passionate sports fans and our experienced hosts will create an incredible environment for our stars to shine during what are the two of the biggest events in our sport.”

“We encourage fans from across the world to come together and share the glory with their teams, each of them aiming to become world champions in these respective competitions. In doing so, fans will also get to experience first-hand the rich culture and warm hospitality offered by this amazing part of the world,” he added.