Indian women’s hockey team coach Janneke Schopman with defender Deep Grace Ekka.
Indian women’s hockey team coach Janneke Schopman with defender Deep Grace Ekka.

Women's Hockey: India confident of CWG glory

New Delhi, July 20, 2022

Indian women’s hockey team coach Janneke Schopman has exuded confidence about her team performing well in the Birmingham Commonwealth Games which began on July 28.

Talking to Hockey India a day after arriving in the United Kingdom, Janneke said sharpening their skills would be essential going ahead.

“Our performance at the World Cup wasn’t good in terms of results, but we created a lot of penalty corner (PC) chances and played well overall. It was our execution that wasn’t the best.

"We will be focusing on getting our execution spot on going ahead and prepare accordingly for the CWG. We need to train better for the execution to improve,” said Janneke.

"Our manner of playing has changed, instead of defending more like earlier, other teams are setting up defensively against us,” she added.

India had won gold at the 2002 Commonwealth Games (Manchester) and silver in the 2006 edition in Melbourne.

India begin their campaign on July 29 in Birmingham with the game against Ghana (18:30 IST), before playing Wales (23:30 IST) on July 30, England (18:30 IST) on August 2 and Canada (15:30 IST) on August 3 in the opening round.

According to senior player Nikki Pradhan, the team is in good spirits as they get set to crank up the intensity in the final rounds of preparations before the prestigious Quadrennial Games.

“The mood is good in the team currently. We want to play good matches at the CWG and want to play an attacking game here. We weren’t able to score too many goals at the World Cup but we hope to change that now.”

Talking about the difficult World Cup campaign recently, Monika noted that they didn’t get the kind of results they would have liked but added that the overall performances were not a problem.

“I would say that we played well from the start of the World Cup. We played as a team from the start but with the New Zealand game, it was a difficult encounter and things didn’t work out on the day.

"Unfortunately, we didn’t score from the PCs we created but we will work on them going ahead. The performances though were good overall for us.”

Touching on the much-talked about the heat-wave that is plaguing the United Kingdom, the coach played down any worries.

“It’s hot but it is what it is and we have trained and played in Bhubaneswar where it is also quite hot and humid. We also haven’t seen the actual field in Birmingham, but however it is, we have to make the best of the circumstances that are on offer,” she added.

NNN

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