Indian women's hockey team to play in New Zealand
New Delhi, March 23 (IANS)
Indian hockey women core probables have set their sights on Hockey World League (HWL) Round 3 as they looked upbeat, confident and excited during their preparatory camp for the upcoming Hawkes Bay Cup in New Zealand. The team is looking at the New Zealand tour as important as they would be facing almost the same teams that would be taking on at the HWL semi-final.
World hockey governing body, FIH, conducts two HWL Semi-Final events, with eight teams competing in each. The top three spots in a HWL semi-final will lead to berths in the Olympic Games 2016.
Speaking on the upcoming tour, forward Anupa Barla on Monday said the tour is crucial keeping in mind the all essential World League Semi-Final coming up.
"The upcoming tour is very important as here the team will be actually tested on the form before playing the all essential World League Semi-Final. In the last one year the team has worked on coordination, passes, attacks and effectively penetrating the circle.
"We have even worked on our physical stamina and speed and which will prove to be vital for the upcoming Hawkes Bay Cup 2015," she said.
The tour is scheduled to start from April 11 and culminates on April 19. The team is currently pumped up after an unbeaten performance in the just culminated HWL Round 2, where India beat Poland 3-1 in the final to walk into the next round which is scheduled in June.
Hockey India (HI) high performance director Roelant Oltmans said the girls need to keep up their confidence for the upcoming tournament.
"The girls are looking in good form and they have to keep their confidence at the same level for the upcoming tournament, Oltmans said.
He further added that, "The team aims to keep the pressure on the opponents by attacking and breaking the defence chain effectively. They are even working on their penalty corners which will be key to score and outwit the opponents."