Junior Hockey WC: 2016 champion coach Harendra Singh returns to India, but with USA

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Harendra Singh to coach USA men's team ahead junior hockey World Cup

New Delhi: Indian Coach Harendra Singh led the roadway of the title of Junior Men’s Hockey World Cup in Lucknow in 2016. After that, he moved on to coach the Indian women’s team, then the men’s national team, and finally the senior men’s squad in the United States.

Singh will be back for a second jig at the event, this time in the USA dugout, five years after he had been with his champion India juniors and donning different caps.

The International Hockey Federation (FIH) invited the United States and Canada junior men’s team on Friday since Australia and New Zealand opted to skip the November 24 to December 5 event in Bhubaneswar, Orissa due to Covid-related travel restrictions.

As a result of their recent bronze medal performance in the Junior Pan American Championship, the USA was invited as first reserves by the FIH. While the best team in the FIH World Rankings (seniors) that has not yet qualified for the Junior World Cup, Canada took the other available berth.

Pat Harris, who is Harendra’s deputy in the senior men’s squad, coaches the US juniors. Both are expected to accompany the squad to Bhubaneswar. “I told the boys right after they beat Canada to win bronze at the PanAm Championship, that you will be going for the Junior World Cup as well,” said Harendra, talking to TimesofIndia briefly from his current base in America.

When asked – ‘Will you travel with the junior team?’, Harendra replied – “Yes, definitely”, before excusing himself to hang up for some work.

It’s only the second time the US men’s team has finished on the podium at the Junior Pan American Championship, and it couldn’t have happened at a better time for them. In a penalty shootout, they overcame Canada.

If they are picked in the roster to travel to Odisha, the event will represent a homecoming for several Indian origin players under USA colours, including Jatin Sharma, Amar Khokhar, Shomik Chakraborty, and Jagpreet Singh.

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