The Indian Senior Women’s team led by Captain Rani and Vice Captain Deep Grace Ekka depart for World League Round 2 in West Vancouver.
New Delhi, 23rd March 2017: After gaining confidence from a scintillating 5-0 whitewash in the Series against Belarus earlier this month, the Indian Senior Women’s team led byAstriker Rani and Vice Captain Deep Grace Ekka departed for West Vancouver from New Delhi in the early hours of Thursday morning to take part in the World League Round 2Astarting on 1 April 2017.
The Indian team will vie for top honours againstABelarus, Canada, Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago, Chile and Uruguay. “We go in as the top ranked team and we are confident we willAfinish in the top spot. We are going there 10 days before the start of the tournament so we will have enough time to get used to the turf, climate. We also play two practice matchesAwhich will help us fine tune further,” stated a confident Rani.
She also added that the team has been working extremely hard in the national camp at Bhopal under the watchful eyes of Chief Coach Dutchmen Sjoerd Marijne and AnalyticalACoach Eric Wonink. Their training was also overseen by Hockey India’s High Performance Director David John. “We were put through a rigorous training camp which began in theAsecond week of January. We have worked a lot on our individual skill, brought in a few variations in our techniques to increase speed of play and the team has thoroughly enjoyedAworking under the new Coaches who are very specific in their approach and ensure every girl in the team knows their responsibilities and what is expected of them. Apart fromAemphasis on fitness, there was also special sessions for mental training and it has helped the team a lot,” explained Rani.
The Series win against Belarus was a big confidence booster ahead of the World League Round 2, feels Deep Grace Ekka. She says, “This group has been together for a whileAnow and we know each othersa strengths and weaknesses. I feel the Series win against Belarus was a big motivator. There were minor mistakes that we committed against BelarusAand we worked on correcting those mistakes these past few weeks. Our primary goal is to qualify for the World League Semi Final and to do that our focus will not just be on attackAand speed of play but also a lot of emphasis will be on our defensive structure.”
The Hockey Women’s World League Semi Final will be held in June and July with Johannesburg and Brussels set to be the two venues.
Speaking about the womenas team progress over these past few weeks, the Chief Coach for Indian Senior Women’s team Marijne said, “The team possess great skill to play fastAbut we have also emphasised a lot on defence because a good defence structure is what wins championships. We have worked on our own small targets and I am hopeful they willAfetch us good results.a?
2. Rajani Etimarpu
3. Deep Grace Ekka
4. Sunita Lakra
5. Gurjit Kaur
6. Renuka Yadav
9. Navjot Kaur
10. Ritu Rani
12. Lily Chanu Mayengbam
13. Namita Toppo
15. Vandana Katariya
16. Poonam Rani
18. Anupa Barla