Following good practice matches leading up to the tournament, Nikkin says the hosts are confident of topping the League stage
Bengaluru, August 8: Hockey Karnataka on Thursday named their 18-member squad for the most-awaited Dolo-650 Bangalore Cup Invitation All India Hockey Tournament (Men) scheduled to begin on 10 August 2019. For the 4th edition of this tournament, the host team Hockey Karnataka will be led by Olympian and charismatic forward Nikkin Thimmaiah.
Goalkeeper Jagdeep Dayal, who was recently part of the Hockey India Special goalkeepers Camp in SAI, Bengaluru and AC Subramani will guard the goalpost. Defenders named in the squad are CA Ponnanna, Deekshith SP, Abhishek HS, Veeranna Gowda while the list of mid-fielders include Pradhan Somanna, KR Bharath, Puneeth R, KP Somaiah, and Acchaiah DM.
The forward line will see Nikkin play a pivotal role with able support from Mokshith Uthappa, Harish Mutgar, Pawan Madivalar, Pruthvi Raj, Rajendra and Manjeet. The team will be Coached by former International player KK Poonacha, who was earlier the National Coach of Oman while PA Aiyappa has been named the Team Manager.
“I think we have a good side with a good mix of youth and experienced players. Our Goalkeeper Jagdeep Dayal was part of the Special National Camp for goalkeepers and he carries good confidence from there. This will be a challenging tournament and our boys are ready to put up a good show,” stated KK Poonacha, Coach, Hockey Karnataka.
Nikkin, on the other hand, said this will be a great opportunity for the players from Karnataka to shine and vie to make the National Program. “This tournament has some of the most reputed teams and players in the country taking part and doing well here would help the players get noticed for National Coaching Camps. The players are motivated and we have been training together for nearly three weeks and have played good practice matches against Army XI, Indian Air Force in the past few weeks. We are confident of topping the Pool and making the Semi-Finals,” asserted Nikkin.