New Delhi: Hockey India has unveiled the 20-member Indian Women’s Hockey Team that will embark on a crucial tour of Germany and participate in the prestigious 100th Anniversary Spanish Hockey Federation International Tournament in Spain. These events hold immense significance as they form a crucial part of the team’s preparation ahead of the highly anticipated Hangzhou Asian Games 2023.
The Indian team is set to kickstart their tour with three Test matches in Germany, facing off against China and Germany in a bid to fine-tune their skills and tactics from July 16 to July 19. Following the Germany tour, the team will travel to Spain, where they will compete against South Africa, England, and the hosts in the 100th Anniversary Spanish Hockey Federation-International Tournament, scheduled from July 25 to July 30 in Terrassa.
The selected squad comprises a blend of talent and dedication, with individuals who have been honing their skills and relentlessly striving for excellence during the ongoing National Coaching Camp at the SAI (Sports Authority of India) centre in Bengaluru.
Leading the contingent is the seasoned goalkeeper Savita, who will be ably supported by Deep Grace Ekka as the Vice Captain. The squad also includes Bichu Devi Kharibam as the second goalkeeper, while the defensive lineup features players like Deep Grace Ekka, Nikki Pradhan, Ishika Chaudhary, Udita, and Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam.
In the midfield, the team boasts a formidable lineup comprising Nisha, Monika, Salima Tete, Neha, Navneet Kaur, Sonika, Baljeet Kaur, Vaishnavi Vitthal Phalke, and Jyoti Chhatri, providing a perfect blend of experience and youthful energy.
The forward line will be spearheaded by the seasoned striker Vandana Katariya, who will be joined by talented players such as Lalremsiami, Sangita Kumari, and Deepika, adding significant firepower to the attacking unit.
Speaking about the team selection, Chief Coach Janneke Schopman expressed her excitement, stating, “The Spain and Germany tours will be a great opportunity for our team to showcase their abilities and skills on the international stage once again and continue our preparation for the Asian Games. The players have been performing at a high level during this camp, tirelessly working to improve their game. Both tours will be a perfect platform for us to test ourselves against strong opponents. We will focus on maintaining strong team unity and executing our strategies. Our goal is to play our own game and utilise the learnings of this camp and the last tour.”
Schopman further emphasised the significance of the tours in the context of the upcoming Asian Games, stating, “The tours will also be crucial for us in regards to the upcoming Asian Games as they will provide us with valuable insights and help us identify areas where we can further enhance our performance. It’s important for us to learn from each match and grow as a team.”
Indian women’s hockey team: Goalkeepers: Savita (C), Bichu Devi Kharibam Defenders: Deep Grace Ekka (VC), Nikki Pradhan, Ishika Chaudhary, Udita, and Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam Midfielders: Nisha, Monika, Salima Tete, Neha, Navneet Kaur, Sonika, Baljeet Kaur, Vaishnavi Vitthal Phalke, Jyoti Chhatri.