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India junior men’s hockey team upbeat for 4 Nations Tournament in Germany | Hockey

The Indian junior men’s hockey team will begin their campaign at the 4 Nations Tournament – Dusseldorf 2023 against Spain on Friday (August 18). India will square off against the hosts Germany on August 19, and England on August 21 with the final set to take place on August 22. 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 December 5 to December 16.

File photo of India junior men's hockey team
File photo of India junior men’s hockey team

The Indian team will be entering into the competition after the completion of the national camp at SAI Centre in Bengaluru, which was held between June and August.

Before the camp, the junior players had earned qualification for the Men’s Junior World Cup after winning the Asia Cup 2023 trophy in Oman, defeating 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 young Indian side in the absence of Uttam Singh, who is unable to travel due to an injury he sustained during the training camp.

“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,” said Vishnukant.

The last time, the junior teams of India and Spain squared off four years ago in Madrid, it was the Spaniards who emerged on top with a 3-1 win. India, however, have a healthy head-to-head record against Spain at the junior level. Since 2016, Spain and India have faced each other four times in which India have won thrice, while Spain have won once.

Their record against Germany is similar. Although India lost their last encounter against Germany at the FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s Junior World Cup at Bhubaneswar in 2021, since 2013, India have squared off against Germany on four occasions, and have won thrice.

“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,” said India’s junior team coach CR Kumar said

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

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