Sjoerd Marijne: Indian women will benefit from Netherlands tour

The head coach believes the exposure will aid in India’s preparations for the women’s Asia Cup.

Sjoerd Marijne... “I would like to see the girls faster on the field.”   -  Getty Images

The upcoming tour of the Netherlands would provide India’s women’s team an invaluable experience and a chance to work under legendary Dutch coach Toon Seipman, says head coach Sjoerd Marijne.

Apart from playing a four-match series in Holland, India will also get an opportunity to work with Seipman. “We will have nine training sessions with Seipman, who is a drag-flick expert. Many drag flickers across the world work with him and I am sure our drag flickers can learn a great deal from him,” said the 43-year-old Dutch coach. “This is an aspect we need to improve upon and I believe the exposure in Holland will help in our preparations for the women’s Asia Cup,” he added.

After a two-week break post the Women’s Hockey World League Semifinal in Johannesburg, the Indian women’s team is back at SAI, Bengaluru, for a three-week national camp. On August 14, the 33 core probables reported for the camp, which will conclude on August 31 ahead of the team’s departure for a four-match series in the Netherlands.

Goal-oriented training

“While we will work on bringing different variations in goal-scoring and keeping ball possession, we will pay more attention to basics such as trapping and better passing during this camp. On the fitness front, I would like to see the girls get faster on the field,” said the coach.

Marijne will put the squad under grind with 10 sessions a week that includes matches against the junior boys’ side on Thursdays and Saturdays. India captain Rani said that the team would be focussing on playing consistently. “There are quite a few aspects we need to learn from our outing at the World League Semifinal. While we did well against U.S.A. in the first two quarters, we could not carry on the momentum into the third and fourth quarters. “Similarly, against Argentina, too, we put up a good fight but it’s important to play consistently through the match and we are working on it,” said Rani.

‘Learning experience’

“We need to bring more energy into our attack and I am sure playing against Holland, who are very good with attack, it will be a learning experience,” said the India forward.

Meanwhile, Marijne lauded the men’s team, which defeated an experienced Netherlands team with as many as nine players from last year’s junior core group in its ranks. “I was there during the matches India played in Holland and the energy they brought into the matches was exceptional. The women’s team makes it a point to follow the men’s matches and they are inspired by the team’s recent performance,” Marijne said.