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Suman Thoudam named captain of Junior Women's Hockey Team for Chile tour
New Delhi, January 8, 2021
Defender Suman Devi Thoudam will lead a 24-member junior women's hockey team on a tour to Chile this month to play six matches as part of their preparations for the Junior Asia and World Cup this year.
The team will play Junior Chile side on January 17 and 18. The visitors will then play four matches against the Senior side on January 20, 21 23 and 24.
Hockey India on Friday named the 24-member team for the tour. Besides captain Suman Devi Thoudam, the other members of the squad are:
Goalkeepers: Khushboo and Rashanpreet Kaur
Defenders: Ishika Chaudhary (Vice Capt), Mahima Choudhary, Priyanka, Gagandeep Kaur, Sushma Kumari and Akshata Dhekale
Midfielders: Baljeet Kaur, Chetna, Mariana Kujur, Ajmina Kujur, Reet, Prabhleen Kaur, Vaishnavi Phalke and Preeti
Forwards: Jiwan Kishori Toppo, Mumtaz Khan, Rutuja Pisal, Sangita Kumari, Beauty Dungdung, Lalrindiki and Deepika.
The Junior Women's Team played their last competition in December 2019 when they squared off against Australia and New Zealand in the 3 Nations Tournament.
Suman Thoudam was thrilled that their wait for a tour is finally over. "We are absolutely ecstatic about touring Chile as it's been a while since we got some match practice due to the coronavirus pandemic, so this will be a good outing especially as it's coming at an apt time.
"It's been very difficult to stay away from tournaments and the tour of Chile has come at the right time. We have practiced well in the last few months and the games against Chile will help us prepare for the Junior Asia Cup which will be held in April 2021.
"All of us are really looking forward to playing an international tournament after a long break," she said.
Team coach Erik Wonink said, "This is very exciting news for us. We will be back in the competitive circuit after a long wait. The players have worked very hard since returning to the coaching camp in October and it will be great to see the players execute their skills in a match environment in Chile.
"However, the safety of the players and the support staff will be our primary concern on the tour. We have ensured that all the safety protocols for the tour have been put in place," he added.
Hockey India has planned the tour considering all health and safety measures in Chile. Hockey India and the Chilean Field Hockey Federation will be creating a bio-bubble for all the personnel involved in the tour.
The team will be staying in a hotel where a provision to have separate rooms/halls for the team for all the meals, team meetings, sessions etc have been made. The accommodation will be on a twin-sharing basis, where the room sharing partners will remain the same throughout the tour, including in the seating arrangement in the team coach/bus.
The squad (players & support staff) will be tested twice (once within 72 hours of departure from India and once at arrival in Chile) before the team starts training in Chile.
An affidavit along with the negative PCR test result of each individual travelling squad member has to be submitted at entry in Chile.