With World Cup, Olympic qualifier ahead a tough 2018 for Senior National Women’s hockey team: Camp begins Friday

By | February 14, 2018

Bangalore, 14 Feb 2018Young and talented Manipuri duo of teenager Lalremsiami and 21-year Hnialum Lal Ruat Feli will be joined by another teenage compatriot Suman Devi Thoundam for the third Indian Women’s Senior National camp to be held at the Sports Authority of India campus at Kengeri here from Friday. The team will leave for the Korea tour (March 3 to 17) after the camp.

While Lalremsiami is the baby of the 34 core group of campers at 17 years, Suman Devi, who hones her skill at the MP Hockey Academy, will be the only new member apart from the 33 probables who attended the 21-day camp here in January after a two-week Christmas break at the end of the first camp in December 2017. Savita Punia of Haryana and Rajani Etimarpu of Andhra Pradesh, both goalkeepers, Deep Grace Ekka and Sunita Lakra, both Odisha besides Sushila Chanu, the skipper of the team at the Rio Olympics and experienced Vandana Kataria of UP are some of the seniors who will be in focus as they fight to stay fit to retain their spots with many eager and talented youngsters vying to barge into the team.

Olympian Deepika Thakur is the senior most at 29 years. With 15 Olympians in the camp, the only one missing will be Anuradha Devi, of the 16 that played at Rio. Jyothi Dahiya of Universities will be the other name missing in the list released by Hockey India today. However, the camp is expected to be a good mix of youth and experience and provides a good foundation for over half a dozen juniors players to understand the demands of high performance and strategies required at the senior level.

The players will report to Indian women’s team Chief Coach Harendra Singh, who will have his hands full with a busy year full of tours and tournaments including a tough Olympic qualifier.

“Since 2018 is extremely important with many events, the team should stay fit and injury-free. At the same time, they need to be fast and agile. So a series of classes and sessions are in the pipeline to educate them on the significance of fitness to achieve our targets in major competitions,” said Harendra Singh ahead of the camp.

After ending the year 2017 on a high, winning the Women’s Asia Cup in Japan, the Indian team will begin their campaign this year with a Korean Tour where they will play five matches against the hosts at the Jinchun National Athletic Centre, Jinchun, Korea.

The team had a 21-day camp In Bengaluru from January 3 to 24 in a series of camps to prepare a foundation for a crucial year. The Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in April, 5th Women’s Asians Champions Trophy in Korea in May where they will defend their title. An exposure tour to Spain in June is not yet confirmed but it would be a good competition training ahead of the Women’s World Cup in London starting in July. Then the 18th Asian Games, Jakarta in August which is also an Olympic Qualifying event.

“The Korea Tour is important ahead of the Commonwealth Games as we want to implement a few combinations in Korea and get some good match practice before we leave for the CWG. With the 5th Women’s Asian Champions Trophy being held in Korea, it is good to get used to the playing conditions in that country and also matches against the home team ahead of a big competition is always good,” added the Chief Coach.

It is reported that the fitness graph of the players has witnessed a steep climb over the past year going by the Yo-Yo Test scores which indicates an athlete’s ability to repeatedly perform high-intensity aerobic work. “Fitness is a long process and we are happy that Wayne Lombard (Scientific Advisor) has worked so closely where the girls have shown a good graph. After two camps that focused mainly on fitness and speed with technical skill development, now the focus will be implementing different combinations of attack and defence. I am confident the team is capable of good results this year,” felt Harinder Singh, who is fondly remembered for his exploits with the Indian Juniors who brought home a second Junior World Cup.

The probables: (Read as Name, If Olympian, Date of Birth, team/State)

Goalkeepers 

  1. Savita Punia (Olympian) 11 July 1990, Haryana
  2. Rajani Etimarpu, Railway/Andhra Pradesh, 9 June 1990
  3. Swati   14 May 1993, GK, MP HAcademy, Haryana

Defenders

  1. Deep Grace Ekka (Oly) 3 June 1994, Sundergarh, Odisha
  2. Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam (Oly, Captain), 25 Feb 1992, Railways/Manipur,
  3. Sunita Lakra (Oly), 11 June 1991, NALCO, Odisha, 26yrs
  4. Gurjit Kaur, 25 Oct 1995, Punjab
  5. Hnialum Lal Ruat Feli, 15 July 1996, Manipur
  6. Navdeep Kaur, 25 Aug 1994, MPHA, Madhya Pradesh
  7. Rashmita Minz, 16 Dec 1997, Rourkela, Odisha
  8. Neelu Dadiya, Mandsaur, Madhya Pradesh

Midfielders

  1. Namita Toppo (Oly), 4 June 1995, W.Rly/Odisha
  2. Nikki Pradhan (Oly), 8 Dec 1993, Jharkhand, Ind Rly
  3. Deepika Thakur (Oly), 7 Feb 1989, Haryana, 29 years;
  4. Karishma Yadav 25 Dec1997, MP Hockey Academy, Gwalior
  5. Renuka Yadav (Oly), 18 July 1994, MPH Academy, Chattisgarh
  6. Navjot Kaur (Oly) 7 March 1995, Railways/RCF/ Haryana
  7. Monika Malik (Oly) 5Nov1993, C Railways, Haryana,
  1. Lilima Minz (Oly), 10 April 1994, Railways/Odisha
  2. Neha Goyal, 15 Nov 1996, Haryana
  3. Udita, 14 Jan 1998, Haryana           )
  4. Lily Chanu Mayengbam, 14 Aug 1992, MPH Academy/ Manipur
  5. Nilanjali Rai 7 Oct 1997, Madhya Pradesh
  6. Suman Devi Thoudam, 16 Jul 1999, MPHAcademy, Manipur

Forwards

  1. Rani (Oly), 4 Dec 1994, Rly/Haryana
  2. Vandana Katariya (Oly), 15 Apr 1992, C.Rly/UP
  3. Preeti Dubey (Oly), 13 June 1998; Gwalior, MPHAcademy, MP
  4. Reena Khokhar, 10 April 1993, Maharashtra
  5. Anupa Barla, 6 May 1994, w.Rly/ Odisha
  6. Sonika, 20 March 1997, SAI Hissar, Haryana
  7. Lalremsiami, 30 March 2000, Manipur SAI
  8. Poonam Rani (Oly), 8 Feb 1993, Railways/Haryana
  9. Navneet Kaur, 26 Jan 1996, w.Rly/Haryana
  10. Navpreet Kaur (jr player), 25 Dec 1997, Haryana?

Note: Support staff names are not provided by Hockey India.

eom/with inputs from Hockey India release

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