Focus on fitness, ball-handling speed at women’s hockey national camp

Thirty-three players will take part in the national camp, which begins Monday.

Team captain, Rani Rampal, is among the 33 who will take part in the training camp.   -  K. Murali Kumar

Hockey India on Saturday named 33 players for the women’s national camp, beginning February 25 in Bengaluru.

The five-week long camp will be held under the watchful eyes of chief coach Sjoerd Marijne and will see the players focus on fitness, ball-handling speed, strength apart from emphasis on staying consistent in their performance.

The team led by striker Rani Rampal did well in its recent tour of Spain, where it enjoyed one win (5-2), suffered one loss (2-3) and drew twice (1-1 and 2-2) against the home team, which had won a bronze in the 2018 World Cup.

India also impressed against 2018 World Cup runner-up Ireland with a draw (1-1) and a win (3-0), ending the tour on a high.

Read: SAI coach Dubey to assist goalkeepers in hockey national camp

“Playing well against Ireland and Spain with short preparation gives the team a good boost. There is space to improve and keep aiming higher. It is important for the players to know how to remain consistent and show that every day in training and match-situation,” said Marijne.

He further added that the camp gives them ample time to work on key areas ahead of their next tour in Malaysia.

“Our focus will be on improving fitness and also ball-handling speed. We have a long camp and this is perfect as it gives more time for us to work on these two key areas.

“In our next tour we play Malaysia and in those matches, we will come across situations where we will have less space to score and our challenge will be to be effective in such situations,” he said.

The core group includes

Goalkeepers: Savita, Rajani Etimarpu, Sonal Minj

Defenders: Deep Grace Ekka, Sunita Lakra, Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam, Gurjit Kaur, Rashmita Minz, Salima Tete, Suman Devi Thoudam, Mahima Choudhary and Nisha.

Midfielders: Nikki Pradhan, Monika, Lilima Minz, Namita Toppo, Neha Goyal, Udita, Jyoti, Anuja Singh, Shyama Tidgam, Sonika, Karishma Yadav have received a call-up.

Forwards: Rani, Lalremsiami, Navneet Kaur, Navjot Kaur, Rajwinder Kaur, Vandana Katariya, Anupa Barla, Priyanka Wankhede, Reena Khokhar and Leelavathy Mallamada Jaya.