Preeti to lead junior hockey team in Six Nations tourney

New Delhi, July 2 : Striker Preeti Dubey will skipper an 18-member Indian junior women’s team for the upcoming Under-23 Six Nations tournament to be held from July 14-21 in Belgium, Hockey India announced on Monday.

Defender Salima Tete will shoulder the duties of vice captain of the team that includes goalkeepers Bichu Devi Kharibam and Khushboo.

Besides Salima, the other defenders in the squad are Neelu Dadiya, Gagandeep Kaur, Priyanka, Suman Devi Thoudam and Ishika Chaudhary.

Karishma Yadav, Mahima Choudhary, Jyoti, Mariana Kujur and Manpreet Kaur will command the midfield while Preeti will lead the forward line along with Leelavathy Mallamada Jaya, Mumtaz Khan, Sangita Kumari and Lalrindki.

The Indian women’s team will be playing a total of five round-robin matches against Ireland, Great Britain, Belgium, Canada and the Netherlands.

The tournament will see the top two teams at the end of the round-robin matches facing each other in the final on July 21, while the remaining teams will play classification matches.

“The Indian Junior women’s team will face a stern test in the U23 Six Nations Tournament in Belgium as they play against some of the stronger teams from around the world,” stated David John, Director, High Performance, Hockey India.

“These players will get a much-needed exposure and this challenge will help us in forming a wider Core Group of players for the women’s team. It is a crucial juncture in the careers of these players as some of them will take part in their first major international tournament and will play a part in building a successful team for the future,” he added.

India will open their campaign against Ireland on July 14.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Bichu Devi Kharibam, Khushboo;

Defenders: Neelu Dadiya, Gagandeep Kaur, Salima Tete (VC), Priyanka, Suman Devi Thoudam, Ishika Chaudhary;

Midfielders: Karishma Yadav, Mahima Choudhary, Jyoti, Mariana Kujur, Manpreet Kaur;

Forwards: Preeti Dubey (C), Leelavathy Mallamada Jaya, Mumtaz Khan, Sangita Kumari, Lalrindki.

/IANS

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