Indian hockey eves gear up for 7th Junior World Cup
The Indian junior hockey eves are busy hitting the training drills at the National Institute of Sports (NIS) in Patiala, in preparation for the upcoming 7th Junior Women’s World Cup slated to be held in Monchengladbach, Germany from July 27 to August 4.
The Sushila Chanu-led 18-member Indian eves side is being put through the paces under the watchful eyes of Indian coach Narender Singh Saini and Australian Neil Hawgood, who is the head coach of the senior women’s team.
The hockey eves have been attending the camp for close to two months now. The camp began on May 22.
The Indian team comprises as many as twelve players, who were part of the senior team in the recently-held 1st women’s Hockey World League Round 3 event in Rotterdam, where the country finished a disappointing seventh among eight teams.
The team comprises senior team players, which include skipper Sushila Chanu in defence, Deep Grace Ekka, Namita Toppo, Manjit Kaur (who made her senior international debut in Rotterdam), Lily Chanu, Lilima Minz, Vandana Katariya, Ritusha Arya, Navjot Kaur in midfield and the trio of Rani Rampal, Poonam Rani and Anupa Barla in the forwardline.
Rani Rampal’s return to the side after a long back injury is a big boost to the side as she is one player who can turn around the game in no time.
The talented striker was not included in the senior team for the 1st women’s Hockey World League Round 3 event in Rotterdam as the national hockey selectors wanted her to be fully fit for the 7th Junior World Cup.
India junior hockey eves will leave for Germany on July 15.
They will play four warm-up games before the marquee event begins on July 27. Indian eves take on Belgium on July 17 in their first warm-up game before meeting the Netherlands on July 19.
They will then play two warm-up games against South Africa, one on July 21 and the other on July 24.
India will be among fifteen teams battling for top honours in the nine-day event.
The inaugural Junior Women’s World Cup was held in Ottawa, Canada in 1989, where West Germany cornered glory.
Indian junior hockey eves are placed in a tricky Group C alongside 1993 and 1997 runners-up Australia, New Zealand and Russia.
Indian junior hockey eves will be seen in action on the opening day when they meet Australia.
Their second game is against New Zealand on July 28 before they wrap up their league assignments against Russia on July 30.