Hockey India names 18-member Senior squad for Europe Tour…

The 18-member team will be captained by Rani while duties of Vice-Captain will be shouldered by goalkeeper Savita

Hockey India today announced the 18-member Indian Women’s team for the 15-day Europe Tour to begin from September 5 in the Netherlands. The team will be Captained by striker Rani while in-form goalkeeper Savita will shoulder the duties of Vice-Captain.

The team features a mix of youth and the experienced in their line-up with the defense formed by Deep Grace Ekka, Sunita Lakra, Gurjit Kaur, Navdeep Kaur and Rashmita Minz.  The goal will be kept by Savita and Rajani Etimarpu while the midfield will feature Namita Toppo, Nikki Pradhan, Monika, Karishma Yadav, Lilima Minz and Neha Goyal. The forward-line will see Rani, experienced Poonam Rani, Vandana Katariya, Reena Khokhar and Lalremsiami.

In their previous outing at the Women’s Hockey World League Semi Final, the team lost to England in the quarter final and eventually ended the competition in 8th place. The team began the year on a positive note with a five-match series win against Belarus followed by a podium finish at the World League Round 2 in Canada. However, it is a consistent performance that the women’s team seeks as they had lost a five-match series to higher ranked New Zealand ahead of the Women’s World League Semi Final in Johannesburg. “I wouldn’t say we dropped our performance after starting the year on a winning note. Our exposure against New Zealand was good despite the loss and we will be working on the mistakes we made in Johannesburg during the ongoing camp in Bengaluru. We need to be more consistent and the team is positively working towards achieving better results,” expressed Captain Rani.

Meanwhile, Coach Sjoerd Marijne stated that the Holland experience will throw open a bigger pool of players to choose from for the all-important 2017 Women’s Asia Cup in Japan. “We will be experimenting new combinations in Holland and try out different variations in PC conversions and goal scoring. Mental training is another aspect we are focused on at the moment in our ongoing camp apart from improving speed and core fitness,” stated the 43-year-old Dutch Coach.

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