Halappa out of Asian Champions Trophy

August 12th, 2011 - 9:29 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, Aug 12 (IANS) The trials for the Indian hockey team for the Asian Champions Trophy will begin here Saturday, but captain Arjun Halappa has been ruled out with a groin injury.

Halappa suffered the groin injury last month and could not attend the second phase of the national camp that began at the Sports Authority of India Centre here Monday.

Forward Shivendra Singh will also miss the tournament with a shoulder injury.

“Halappa is not able to train because of a groin injury,” selector A.B.Subbaiah told IANS.

“Shivendra is already out with a shoulder problem. The rest of the boys will be up for selection,” he said.

Shivendra hurt his shoulder during the National Championships in Bhopal in June and had to undergo a surgery.

Halappa along with three other senior players –Sandeep Singh, Prabhjot Singh and Sardar Singh - was hauled up by Hockey India for attending a promotional event of World Series Hockey, organised by the rival Indian Hockey Federation.

Subbaiah said the issue is over and the players will be considered for selection.

He said the team has been practising hard for the tournament, which will be the first under new coach Nichael Nobbs of Australia.

“Nobbs has been trying out some new things and the boys have responded well. Things are moving in the right direction. He has adopted the attacking style of hockey with the perfection of Australia style.”

The team under Spaniard Jose Brasa had been learning the European style. Subbaiah, however, said switching to attacking hockey will not take much time.

“We have always played attacking hockey and it is exciting. Australia have been successful by adopting the same style. The players will get used to it in the long term.”

The Asian Champions Trophy is scheduled to be played at Ordos, China from Sept 3-12. The first six teams of the 2010 Guangzhou Asiad –Pakistan, Malaysia, India, South Korea, Japan and China will participate in the tournament.

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