Tamil Nadu to host Junior National Men's Hockey Championships

The tournament is tentatively scheduled to be played begin in January next year.

The Hockey Unit of Tamil Nadu has not taken a decision on the venues for the tournament.   -  M. Vedhan

Tamil Nadu will host the Junior National men (’A’ & ‘B’ division) hockey championships tentatively scheduled from January 11 to February 4 2020. Though quite a few venues are under consideration, Hockey Unit of Tamil Nadu (HUTN) has not taken a decision yet. While the ‘A’ division will be held from January 25 to February 4 the ‘B’ division will take place from January 11 to 20.  For the record, the Tamil Nadu junior team is in 'A' division. 

“After we hosted the Senior Nationals [’B’ division) early this year, which saw TN win the championship, and also qualify for ‘A’ division, we are keen to improve the performance of our junior team, too,” Sekar J. Manoharan, President of Hockey Unit of Tamil Nadu, told Sportstar here on Tuesday. “Whatever we did to the seniors in terms of physical fitness, yoga, nutrition and other things,  it will be done for juniors as well.”

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The Tamil Nadu junior team narrowly lost a place in the quarterfinals of the Nationals in the previous edition  held in Aurangabad. TN was in a tough group which had Punjab, Chandigarh, Himachal and Services. “We lost on goal average last time. This time we are eager to reach the semifinal or even go further,” said Sekar.

According to Sekar,  HUTN is planning to give the team exposure including sending the boys to play in a local tournament in Bengaluru.

The Organising Committee of the Madras Cricket Club has decided to give the Tamil Nadu senior team the chance to participate in the All-India MCC-Murugappa hockey tournament to begin at the SDAT-Mayor Radhakrishnan Stadium here on August 28. In the last edition in September 2018, the Chennai Hockey Association fielded a team.

What could have gone in TN’s favour was the fact that it did well to qualify to the ‘A’ division. “We are happy to field the TN senior team. We will be retaining almost the same team, which did well in the ‘B’ division, but with a mix of junior players,” said Sekar J Manoharan, HUTN President. The issue of head coach among other things is expected to be finalised within a week or two.