The Indian women’s hockey team left for their Argentina tour early this morning under the guidance of famed coach Neil Hawgood. The 18-member squad will play against the host country and Australia in matches scheduled from 18th to 30th November 2015.
The Indian team will play against Argentina’s under-21 women’s team on 23rd November. The match will set off the campaign for the Indian team and the tournament will provide the much needed international exposure as part of the team’s preparations for the upcoming Rio Olympics in 2016.
Coach Neil Hawgood said, “The girls are now more confident and enthusiastic to play with top hockey teams. It will be an excellent platform to explore the strengths of players and further examine and short-list the team for Rio Olympics. It is an exploratory trip to see where we currently stand and what are the areas that we need to work upon to enhance our performance as per international standards.”
Captain Ritu Rani said, “We are aware of the nation’s expectations from us since we have qualified for the Olympics. We have been training hard and such international trips will only help us understand the results of our hard work before we represent our country in the Olympics next year. We are happy to have the best coaching facilities and we feel confident about our preparation.”
The Indian Women’s team has been on a high this year winning the second round of the Hockey World league earlier this year which was held in Delhi. The team gained 5th position in the Hockey World League semi-final by the virtue of which they qualified for the Rio Olympics for the first time in 36 years.
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