Hockey India on Saturday named 22 players for the senior women's national camp to begin at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar from October 14 ahead of next month's crucial FIH Olympic Qualifiers. The camp will focus on preparing the team for the two-match FIH Olympic Qualifiers against USA to be held on November 1 and 2. The best of the two matches will determine the team that will qualify for 2020 Tokyo Olympics. In their recent tour of England, the Indian women's team led by Rani Rampal won their first match against Great Britain 2-1, while drew three matches (1-1, 0-0, 2-2) before losing 1-3 to the home team.
"It was a good tour because we got to play a strong team like Great Britain and we did well against the pressure Great Britain created in each of the match. The one week break I believe will give the players enough time to recover mentally and physically," said Indian women's team chief coach Sjoerd Marijne.
"There is a lot of excitement among the players to compete in Bhubaneswar which has truly become a hockey destination for world events. During the camp, it is important for the team to get used to the pitch and we are also looking at playing practice matches amongst ourselves," he added.
The Indian women's hockey team recently toured England and they tasted their first defeat when they went down 1-3 against Great Britain in the fourth match in Marlow. Great Britain took an early lead through Hannah Martin (5th minute) but India's Neha Goyal (18th) scored the equaliser. However, a goal before half-time from Charlotte Watson (29th), and one in the last quarter through Giselle Ansley (50th) meant that Great Britain secured their first win of the tour, snapping India's unbeaten run. World No 9 India had notched up a 2-1 win in the first match, before drawing the next two games 1-1 and 0-0 respectively. The hosts dominated possession in the early stages and won their first penalty corner in just the 3rd minute, but India's goalkeeper Rajani Etimarpu produced a fine save to deny the hosts early on.
22 Players: Savita, Rajini Etimarpu, Deep Grace Ekka, Reena Khokhar, Salima Tete, Gurjit Kaur, Udita, Nikki Pradhan, Nisha, Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam, Monika, Lilima Minz, Neha Goyal, Namita Toppo, Sonika, Rani, Navneet Kaur, Lalremsiami, Navjot Kaur, Sharmila Devi, Jyoti, Vandana Katariya