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FIH Pro League 2021/22: "It's a dream to play at iconic Kalinga Stadium for the girls"- Netherlands Coach Joost Bitterling

Netherlands v USA - 2019 Women's FIH Field Hockey Pro League
Netherlands v USA - 2019 Women's FIH Field Hockey Pro League
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Aishwarya Kasibhatla

Table-toppers the Netherlands will take on the Indian Women's Hockey team in the upcoming FIH Pro League at the Kalinga Hockey Stadium in Bhubaneswar.

The two-legged tie against the world's No. 1 team is slated to take place on April 8 and 9.

The Netherlands, as expected, are currently placed at the top of the FIH Pro League table with 17 points. India are fourth with 12 points.

Ahead of their match against India, Netherlands interim coach Joost Bitterling is eager to see the young bunch perform at the iconic Kalinga Stadium.

Bitterling extended the conversation, saying it was a mixed feeling for her to see the team compete in Bhubaneswar.

"I think for young girls, it's a dream to play in this kind of stadium, in this kind of game, so they are really excited. I am also excited, a little bit nervous at the same time, but it is fine because, at the end, this is what we do, this is what we love. The players and I are really looking forward to it, and curious about what we can achieve."

The Dutch coach further added:

"India is a skilful team, with a very good Coach. They have grown their level and I think this is a nice opportunity for us to play against India and try to win these kinds of games the way we want. We also have a few young girls with us, who trained separately from the group which played against the USA. Hopefully, tomorrow we try to get it together, and just looking forward to the matches."

Netherlands skipper Yibbi Jansen further spoke about the team's preparedness.

Yibbi said:

"Last weekend we played the USA, so that was our preparation for this week. We have come with a younger team, we had our first training session today, and it felt really good to train and play in such a big stadium. So, we are just ready for the matches."

RenΓ©e van Laarhove, who will lead the Netherlands in one of their two matches against India on being asked about the hot weather conditions, said:

"We just had the first training to experience the heat and of course, it's a bit different to the weather in the Netherlands. We just use cold wet towels and drink a lot to keep ourselves cool during matches. We don't have days to prepare and it will be challenging for us, but we will do fine. We have played in Argentina before where the conditions were similar."

FIH Pro League: India vs Netherlands schedule & match timings

The Indian women's hockey team will take on the Netherlands in FIH Pro League matches at the Kalinga Hockey Stadium in Bhubaneswar on April 8 and 9.

Match 1: India vs Netherlands

Date: April 8, 2022 Timings: 7:30 PM IST

Match 2: India vs Netherlands

Date: April 9, 2022 Timings: 3:30 PM IST

Streaming details:

All FIH Pro League 2022 matches are being telecast live on Star Sports Select 2 and Star Sports Select 2 HD channels. Matches are also available for live streaming on the Hotstar app.

Also read: FIH Pro League 2021/22: India vs Netherlands, women's squad, schedule and streaming details


Edited by Puranjay Dixit
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