Players arriving in Imphal to participate in the 8th Hockey India Senior Men National Championship 2018 (B Division) have complained about authorities not providing enough facilities to them. They have complained that the organisers did not even provide blankets, adequate food and proper toilet facilities. Hockey India CEO Elena Norman, while assuring that their complaints are being taken care of, said that the association has made its assessment on the matter and there are some areas of improvement required to be addressed by the organising committee and state officials. However, Praveen Singh, Manipur Youth Affairs and Sports Director has said that the matter has been sorted out and players are comfortable now. “When players arrived they saw unused areas in the hostel and assumed those are for their use. Things were sorted when they saw the designated rooms. We have provided heaters, blankets, carpets & mattresses. They’re comfortable now,” he was quoted as saying by ANI.
Meanwhile, with a busy schedule this year that features Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in April Hockey Champions Trophy at Breda in July, Asian Games at Jakarta in August, Asian Champions Trophy in October and the World Cup at Bhubaneswar in November, Hockey India announced 33 players for this year’s first national camp on January 3.Goalkeeper Krishan B. Pathak, who was part of the Indian team that won 2016 junior men’s World Cup, found himself in the group alongside Akash Anil Chikte and Suraj Karkera who had a satisfactory outing at the Asia Cup and also contributed to India’s success at the HWL Final. They are joined by experienced PR Sreejesh who is working hard to find top form after nearly eight months of injury. The young defender from Odisha, Nilam Sanjeep Xess, who led the Indian team to Under-18 Asia Cup win in 2016, has also found himself in the senior core group.
Xess will be training along with Harmanpreet Singh, Sardar Singh, Dipsan Tirkey, Amit Rohidas, Rupinder Pal Singh, Varun Kumar, Surender Kumar, Birendra Lakra, Gurinder Singh in the back line. The line-up of midfielders with Manpreet Singh, Chinglensana Singh, S.K. Uthappa, Sumit, Kothajit Singh, Satbir Singh, Nilakanta Sharma, Simranjeet Singh, Harjeet Singh in the group has remained unchanged. Sumit Kumar, another member of the junior team in 2016, has been included for the camp alongside Akashdeep Singh, SV Sunil, Lalit Upadhyay, Mandeep Singh, Ramandeep Singh, Armaan Qureshi, Gurjant Singh, Affan Yousuf and Talwinder Singh.