Indian women’s team announced for FIH HWL Semi-Final
New Delhi: Ritu Rani will lead the 18-member Indian women’s team in the upcoming FIH Hockey World League Semi-Final to be played in Antwerp, Belgium from June 20 to July 4.
Deepika, meanwhile, has been named the vice-captain of the side by Hockey India, which today announced the squad for the crucial tournament.
India will begin their campaign on the first day of the tournament on June 20, against the host nation Belgium. They have been placed in Pool B along with second ranked Australia, New Zealand, Poland, besides Belgium.
In Pool A, The Netherlands, Korea, Japan, Italy and Azerbaijan will contest against each–other.
Training under the new chief coach Mathias Ahrens, Indian eves will be aiming to finish in the top four and qualify for the FIH Hockey World League Final Round, and also secure a berth in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
“The team is in very good shape and the ongoing preparation camp is helping us to improve our game. With our recent performances in the FIH Hockey World League Round 2 in New Delhi and the Hawke’s Bay Cup 2015 in New Zealand, we have shown improvement in our game. We are trying to rectify our mistakes we committed in our previous tournaments,” Ritu Rani said.
“New Chief Coach is working well with us and we are learning new strategies under him. The atmosphere is very positive and we are confident to take on our opponents in the FIH HWL Semi-Final,” she added.
Coach Ahrens said the team was completely focussed on working on the problem areas.
“The team is doing very well and improving perfectively. We have pointed out mistakes and loopholes in the previous matches and we are positively working on those issues. The players are keen learners and work really hard, which is a very good thing for the team.
“We know the fact that we will face top-ranked teams in the tournament but we are not in pressure. We will just focus on our strategies and play our best game. I am sure that we will see a good competition in FIH Hockey World League Semi-Final,” said Ahrens.
Goalkeepers: Savita, Rajini Etimarpu.
Defenders: Deep Grace Ekka, Deepika, Sunita Lakra, Namita Toppo, Sushila Chanu.
Midfielders: Ritu Rani, Lilima Minz, Lily Chanu, Navjot Kaur, Monika, Renuka Yadav.
Forwards: Rani, Poonam Rani, Vandana Kataria, Anuradha Devi, Soundarya Yendala.