Hockey India Announces 33-Member Squad for National Women’s Coaching Camp

Hockey India has unveiled a 33-member squad for the upcoming national women’s coaching camp. The camp will be held from July 1 to August 31 at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) facility in Bengaluru. This announcement follows a short break for the team after their participation in the FIH Hockey Pro League 2023/24 season in London and Antwerp.

Team Leadership and Pro League Performance

The team is led by captain Salima Tete and vice-captain Navneet Kaur. They showcased their skills in a series of competitive matches against Argentina, Belgium, Germany, and Great Britain during the FIH Pro League. Under the guidance of chief coach Harendra Singh, the team demonstrated moments of brilliance and strong competitive spirit, even though the results were not always in their favor.

Squad Composition

The selected squad features a mix of experienced and young players. The goalkeeping unit includes seasoned players like Savita, alongside promising talents such as Bichu Devi Kharibam, Bansari Solanki, and Madhuri Kindo. The defensive line-up consists of Nikki Pradhan, Udita, and Ishika Chaudhary, who have shown resilience and tactical awareness in previous matches.

Midfield and Forward Line-Up

In the midfield, players such as Salima Tete, Marina Lalramnghaki, and Vaishnavi Vitthal Phalke will play crucial roles. They are joined by Neha, Jyoti, Edula Jyoti, Baljeet Kaur, Manisha Chauhan, Akshata Abaso Dhekale, and Ajmina Kujur. This group is expected to bring a blend of creativity and defensive solidity to the team.

The forwards named for the camp are Sunelita Toppo, Mumtaz Khan, Lalremsiami, Sangita Kumari, Deepika, Sharmila Devi, Navneet Kaur, Deepika Soreng, Preeti Dubey, Vandana Katariya, and Rutuja Dadaso Pisal. This attacking line-up aims to enhance their scoring capabilities and strategic play in upcoming matches.

Coach’s Insight and Future Prospects

Chief coach Harendra Singh reflected on the team’s recent tour to Antwerp and London for the European leg of the Pro League. Despite facing challenges, he noted significant learning and growth. “We had moments where we led and actively sought to equalize,” Singh commented. “These are promising signs for a team in the rebuilding phase. I am confident that the Indian women’s hockey team will soon be a formidable force on the international stage.”

Singh’s optimism is echoed in the selection of a dynamic squad that blends experience with youthful energy. The inclusion of players like Monika, Ropni Kumari, Mahima Choudhary, Jyoti Chhatri, and Preeti further strengthens the team’s depth and versatility.

Goals of the Coaching Camp

The national coaching camp is designed to refine the players’ skills and strategies, with a focus on addressing the gaps identified during the Pro League matches. It aims to foster a cohesive team dynamic and prepare the squad for future international competitions. The camp will also serve as an opportunity to integrate new players into the team’s core structure and build on their strengths.

Hockey India’s announcement of the 33-member squad for the national coaching camp marks a significant step in the continuous development of women’s hockey in India. With a rigorous training schedule ahead, the team is gearing up to enhance their performance and achieve greater success on the international stage.

(With inputs from agencies)

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