New Delhi, 17th May 2023: The prestigious 13th Hockey India Sub Junior Men National Championship 2023 is set to get underway in Rourkela, Odisha from Thursday, 18th May 2023. With all matches taking place at the newly built world-class Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium in Rourkela, the tournament provides an opportunity for bright young players from across India to compete at a world-class stadium and gain experience from it. The 11-day tournament will feature 28 teams competing for the prestigious title, with the final scheduled for 28th May 2023.
The participating teams are divided into eight pools. Teams in Pool A are Uttar Pradesh Hockey, Hockey Karnataka and Kerala Hockey. Pool B consists of three teams – Hockey Jharkhand, Hockey Bengal & Hockey Himachal. In Pool C, Hockey Association of Odisha, Hockey Uttarakhand and Hockey Maharashtra will compete with each other while Pool D consists of Hockey Haryana, Goans Hockey and Chhattisgarh Hockey.
Hockey Punjab, Delhi Hockey, Assam Hockey and Tripura Hockey have been slotted in Pool E. In Pool F, Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu Hockey, Hockey Andhra Pradesh, Hockey Unit of Tamil Nadu and Le Puducherry Hockey will compete with each other. Hockey Bihar, Hockey Madhya Pradesh, Hockey Mizoram and Telangana Hockey are slotted in Pool G and while Hockey Chandigarh, Hockey Arunachal, Hockey Gujarat and Hockey Rajasthan will battle out in Pool H.
Uttar Pradesh Hockey won the previous edition of the tournament and speaking about their chances of defending the title, Coach Vikas Pal said, “The team is working really hard in the practice camp and preparations are going really well. We are in even better form than the previous year and we are confident that we’ll be able to finish with a Gold Medal on the podium once again.”
Hockey Jharkhand finished as runners-up in the previous edition and will enter the tournament hoping to go all the way this time. Manish Kumar, Hockey Jharkhand Coach, stated, “We missed out on finishing the tournament with a Gold medal by the tiniest of margins against Uttar Pradesh Hockey last year. This year, our preparations have been better, and the team is in great physical condition; we are now fully prepared to compete for the Gold Medal at the tournament, and we are confident that we will finish first.”
Hockey Association of Odisha won the Bronze medal during the previous edition of the tournament. Speaking about their plans for the 13th edition of the prestigious tournament, Hockey Association of Odisha’s Coach, Lakshminarayna, stated, “We had our first camp in Bhubaneswar and now we are here in Rourkela for the past week. The team is preparing well, and we are hoping to change the colour of our medal from last year.”
When asked about playing in the newly built Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium, he said, “I believe the playing conditions here in Rourkela will benefit us because we have played in Odisha more than any other team. The stadium is very nice and huge, with world-class infrastructure for the players. I am confident that playing on our home turf will benefit us.”
After seven days of intense pool games, the Quarter-Finals will begin on 25th May 2023, with the Semi-Finals scheduled to be played on 27th May. The Final and the 3rd/4th place matches will take place on 28th May.