Hockey India’s High Performance Director David John scouting for talent at Khelo India Youth Games 2020

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Guwahati: With the hockey competitions in full flow here at the Maulana Md. Tayabullah Hockey Stadium, Hockey India’s High-Performance Director, David John, has been following the action closely to scout for young Sub Junior and Junior level talent.

Along with the Australian, India’s former player Prabhjot Singh has also been in attendance on behalf of Khelo India and the Sports Authority of India, to identify young players who have the potential to be included in the Junior team set-up.

The first edition of the Khelo India Youth Games, held in New Delhi in 2018, was instrumental in finding Haryana’s Sharmila Devi, who is currently a member of the Indian Senior Women’s Hockey Team, and helped them in qualifying for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

“I think Khelo India Youth Games is a tremendous platform for all the young players who are representing their respective states. I have been following the action closely for the past two editions, and we have been successful in finding someone like Sharmila Devi, who first caught my eye during the first edition of this competition. Her impressive performances meant that she was included in our Junior team’s set-up, and we are glad to see her develop into a player who now consistently plays with the Indian Senior Women’s Hockey Team,” said David John.

“Similarly, a lot of the younger players taking part here can take inspiration from that and show us what they have got, and if we feel they have the potential to be included in our programme, then we will definitely give them an opportunity,” he added.

Former Indian forward Prabhjot Singh, who is also working closely with John as the talent scout, felt that such a competitive platform will only help the younger generation in gaining valuable exposure and experience. “When you get to play at a competition like this at such a young age, you learn so many things. I have been watching these players perform, and I have been impressed with how these younger players have so much technical knowledge already. They are also getting massive exposure by playing here, and are earning valuable experience in such a competitive environment, which will help them further in their development,” said Prabhjot Singh.

Action in the U-17 and U21 hockey competitions here at the Khelo India Youth Games on Friday decided the semi-finalists in all four categories. Please find below the results from today along with the schedule for tomorrow:

U-17 Women’s category results – 18th January 2020:
Semi-Final 1 – Haryana 1 (Sakshi Rana 22′) beat Odisha 0
Semi-Final 2 – Jharkhand 4 (Beauty Dungdung 13′; Deepika Soreng 13′; Nikki Kullu 35′; Dipti Kullu 58′) beat Assam 0

U-17 Men’s category results – 18th January 2020:
Semi-Final 1- Uttar Pradesh 5 (Amir Ali 24′, 36′; Arun Sahani 8′; Ajeet Kumar 50′; Ajay Yadav 55′) beat Odisha 1 (Laban Lugun 53′)
Semi-Final 2 – Chandigarh 3 (Sumit 24′, 44′; Harpanthpreet Singh 54′) beat Punjab 1 (Rajinder Singh 17′)

U-21 Women’s category fixtures – 19th January 2020:
Semi-Final 1 – 1300hrs IST – Jharkhand v Mizoram
Semi-Final 2 – 1500hrs IST – Maharashtra v Haryana

U-21 Men’s category fixtures – 19th January 2020:
Semi-Final 1 – 1300hrs IST – Chandigarh v Uttar Pradesh
Semi-Final 2 – 1500hrs IST – Odisha v Haryana

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