Indian Women's hockey team is now a force to reckon with at international level: Midfielder Neha Goyal
New Delhi, September 27, 2021
Ace midfielder Neha Goyal feels that the women's hockey team with their superb showing at the Tokyo Olympics has established India as a force to reckon with at the international level.
“Our performance at the Tokyo Olympics has changed our mentality and given us the self-belief to compete with any team in the world.
"Our win over Australia in the quarter-rinal brought about a shift in our mentality. Coming into that match, Australia had topped their pool by winning all their matches," she told Hockey India.
"Defeating them gave us a lot of confidence, which we will carry with us going forward as we prepare to play more important tournaments in the future. Along with a change in our mentality, we have improved our training and fitness levels as well,” said Neha.
Though the team narrowly missed out on a medal after pushing Great Britain to the edge in the bronze medal match, the 24-year-old from Sonepat believes that it was a historic performance by India in the Tokyo Games.
Admitting that her Olympic debut stands out as a landmark moment for her career thus far, she said “I was nervous before the occasion, but very excited. It has always been my dream to play in the Olympics since I started playing hockey.
"This was my first time, so I did not take too much pressure upon myself and tried to enjoy the moment. I also gained some confidence in our tours of Argentina and Germany before the Olympics, where I felt that we were able to compete well with some really good teams.
"In the end, the team performed well, and I was happy with my individual performance over the course of the tournament as well,” the midfielder said
Neha said her ambition is to further polish her individual game so that she can continue to contribute to the success of the team in future competitions.
“As a team, our next target is to do well at the Asian Games and the World Cup next year. I am continuing to work on my own game so I can continue to contribute to the team’s fortunes.
"As a centre, my job is to be effective on both ends of the field by helping out the defence, as well as the attack. I feel I am a skilful player, and attacking comes more naturally to me, but I want to maintain a balance in my game," she added.