India shortlists 22 players for the Senior Women’s National Coaching Camp

Harpal Singh Bedi

New Delhi, 12 October:, Hockey India on Saturday shortlisted 22 players for the Senior Women’s National Coaching Camp to be held at Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar from 14 October in preparation for the crucial FIH Olympic Qualifiers to be held at the same venue on 1 and 2 November .

Savita, Rajini Etimarpu, Deep Grace Ekka, Reena Khokhar, Salima Tete, Gurjit Kaur, Udita, Nikki Pradhan, Nisha, Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam, Monika, Lilima Minz, Neha Goyal, Namita Toppo, Sonika, Navneet Kaur, Lalremsiami, Navjot Kaur, Sharmila Devi, Jyoti and Vandana Katariya have been called-up for the camp which will be focused on preparing for the Qualifiers in which the hosts will play two matches against USA. The best of two matches will determine the team that qualifies for Tokyo Olympics.

In their recent tour to England, the Indian women’s team led by Rani won their first match against Great Britain 2-1, while drew three matches (1-1; 0-0; 2-2) and lost a match (1-3) to the home team. “It was a good tour because we got to play a strong team like Great Britain and we did well against the pressure Great Britain created in each of the match. The one week break before the team reports for camp, I believe will give them enough time to recover mentally and physically and they will return fresh for the camp in Bhubaneswar,” expressed Chief Coach Sjoerd Marijne.

The excitement among players is palpable as this will be the first time the Indian Women’s Team will be playing at the Kalinga Stadium which is always thronged by passionate hockey lovers who create an electrifying atmosphere in the stadium. “There is a lot of excitement among the players to compete in Bhubaneswar which has truly become a hockey destination for world events.

“During the camp, it is important for the team to get used to the pitch and we are also looking at playing practice matches amongst ourselves which we have requested should be open for public to come and watch. It will not only boost our confidence but it will also help us prepare better,” Marijne added. IANS