Hockey India on Tuesday named 33 players for the women’s national camp starting in Bengaluru’s Sports Authority of India campus on January 3.
The 21-day camp that concludes on January 24 will lay the foundation for a crucial year for the women who will take part in the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in April, 5th Women’s Asians Champions Trophy in Korea in May, where they will defend their title followed by an exposure tour to Spain in June ahead of the Women’s World Cup, London starting in July and the 18th Asian Games, Jakarta in August which is also an Olympic Qualifying event.
“It is an extremely important year for us. While it was a satisfying 2017, ending the year with a career high world ranking of No.10 the team has that self-belief of achieving bigger goals. The girls know they are capable of doing well against higher ranked teams and getting good results against these teams will be one of our top priorities going into a new season. It is important to play these major tournaments in 2018 with the fittest team,” said Harendra Singh chief coach of the Indian women’s hockey team.
In their previous camp, the team’s focus was on improving their strength and fitness, agility and speed apart from skill-driven training. “It was a grueling camp and apart from these aspects we also worked a lot on mental conditioning. In this camp too we will continue with our fitness program along with tactical training, creating goal opportunities, fast rotation of the ball and improving defensive skills will be our main focus,” he added .
The core group features goalkeepers Savita, Rajani Etimarpu and Swati, defenders Deep Grace Ekka, P Sushila Chanu, Sunita Lakra, Gurjit Kaur, Hnialum Lal Ruat Feli, Navdeep Kaur, Rashmita Minz, Neelu Dadiya.
Midfielders are Namita Toppo, Nikki Pradhan, Deepika, Karishma Yadav, Renuka Yadav, Navjot Kaur, Monika, Lilima Minz, Neha Goyal, Udita, M Lily Chanu, Nilanjali Rai.
While the forwards named in the core group are Rani, Vandana Katariya, Preeti Dubey, Reena Khokhar, Anupa Barla, Sonika, Lalremsiami, Poonam Rani, Navneet Kaur and Navpreet Kaur.