The domestic hockey season for seniors will kickstart with the 11th Hockey India Senior Women's National Championship on October 21. The 10-day tournament in Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh, will see a total of 28 teams in the fray.
After six days of pool matches, the quarter-finals will be played on October 27. The semi-finals will be held on October 29 while the medal matches are scheduled for October 30.
The teams have arrived in Jhansi and the coaches and skippers are confident of a successful tournament. They hope that the Senior National Championship will help the teams get some much-needed match practice under their belt.
Madhya Pradesh coach Vandana Uikey said her team has prepared well and is looking positive.
"The team is quite positive about their chances," she said. "We expect to qualify for the quarter-finals first and then take it match by match thereafter."
Maharashtra coach Chingshubam Sanggai Ibemhal said the team is focussing on improving on a few aspects ahead of the National Championship.
"We are focusing on a few aspects, like the skill of receiving the ball," she said. "We are going to take it one game at a time through the competition and put our strategies in place, according to our opposition."
Participating teams in Hockey National Championship
The participating teams in the 11th Hockey India Senior Women's National Championship include Haryana, Uttarakhand and Le Puducherry Hockey in Pool A, while Pool B features Maharashtra, Goans Hockey and Bihar.
Pool C features Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Bengal, with Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Himachal in Pool D.
Pool E includes Punjab, Chandigarh, Andhra Pradesh and Arunachal with Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Delhi Hockey, and Andaman and Nicobar completing Pool F.
Karnataka, the Hockey Unit of Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Tripura Hockey will battle in Pool G, while Pool H will see Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Assam and Jammu & Kashmir.