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Indian women's team to face off against Belgium men's junior team in Europe tour

This is the first time such a match will take place.


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New Delhi, 23 August 2017: Hockey India today announced the 18-member Indian Women’s team for the 15-day Europe Tour to begin from September 5 in the Netherlands. The team will be Captained by striker Rani while in-form goalkeeper Savita will shoulder the duties of Vice-Captain.

The team features a mix of youth and the experienced in their line-up with the defence formed by Deep Grace Ekka, Sunita Lakra, Gurjit Kaur, Navdeep Kaur and Rashmita Minz. The goal will be kept by Savita and Rajani Etimarpu while the midfield will feature Namita Toppo, Nikki Pradhan, Monika, Karishma Yadav, Lilima Minz and Neha Goyal. The forward line will see Rani, experienced Poonam Rani, Vandana Katariya, Reena Khokhar and Lalremsiami. 

The first match will be played on September 8 against the Ladies Den Bosch in the Netherlands, while their second game will be against the Belgium Junior Men's team on September 11, which will be the first time they play in a match of such a kind. The will face off against the Belgian side again on the 18th and it will fascinating to see how they face up to such a challenge.

In their previous outing at the Women’s Hockey World League Semi Final, the team lost to England in the quarter final and eventually ended the competition in 8th place. The team began the year on a positive note with a five-match series win against Belarus followed by a podium finish at the World League Round 2 in Canada.

However, it is a consistent performance that the women’s team seeks as they had lost a five-match series to higher ranked New Zealand ahead of the Women’s World League Semi Final in Johannesburg. “I wouldn’t say we dropped our performance after starting the year on a winning note.

Our exposure against New Zealand was good despite the loses and we will be working on the mistakes we made in Johannesburg during the on-going camp in Bengaluru. We need to be more consistent and the team is positively working towards achieving better results,” expressed Captain Rani. 

Meanwhile Coach Sjoerd Marijne stated that the Holland experience will throw open a bigger pool of players to choose from for the all-important 2017 Women’s Asia Cup in Japan. “We will be experimenting new combinations in Holland and try out different variations in PC conversions and goal scoring. Mental training is another aspect we are focused on at the moment in our ongoing camp apart from improving speed and core fitness,” stated the 43-year-old Dutch Coach.  

Squad: 

Savita (Vice Captain), Rajani Etimarpu, Deep Grace Ekka, Gurjit Kaur, Navdeep Kaur, Sunita Lakra, Rashmita Minz, Namita Toppo, Nikki Pradhan, Monika, Karishma Yadav, Lilima Minz, Neha Goyal, Rani (Captain), Poonam Rani, Vandana Katariya, Reena Khokhar, Lalremsiami

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