Odisha’s Nilam Sanjeep Xess (defender) was named captain of the India team that will compete in the Boys Under-18 Asia Cup hockey tournament to be held at Dhaka, from September 24-30.
Sanjeep’s defensive partner Hardik Singh will be the vice-captain. Both players have also been part of the junior team that won the EurAsia Cup earlier this year and will form the backbone of the defence for the team.
Sanjeep was a member of the Hockey Odisha team that retained the title in the Hockey India 6th Junior Men National Championship (Division-A) at Raipur in Chhattisgarh on May 15, 2016.
He was a member of Hockey Odisha team that finished third in the 6th Hockey India Senior Men National Championship (Division-A), held at Saifai in Uttar Pradesh from April 20 to May 1, 2016. He was a member of the Indian team that won the silver medal in the 12th South Asian Games, held at Guwahati and Shillong from Feb 5 to 16, 2016.
Speaking on the squad announcement, Hockey India secretary general Md Mushtaque Ahmad said, “Our aim to reach new heights of hockey rankings internationally has to start from the junior level. We are hosts of the Junior World Cup in December 2016 and keeping that in mind we are constantly ensuring our junior teams across different levels get good exposure to international hockey.”
“I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of Hockey India to thank Sports Authority of India for their initiative in the launch of the National Hockey Academy in Delhi. Many of these young athletes will get their first exposure to international hockey and through this experience it will help them prepare for their future career in the sport,” he added.