Indian junior hockey eves face Dutch challenge (Preview)

Breda (The Netherlands), July 18 (IANS) The Indian women’s junior hockey team is all set to face a tough challenge as it clashes with the Netherlands at the six-nation Volvo Invitational Under-21 Tournament here on Sunday.

The Indians will look to utilise the experience they acquired during their tour to New Zealand in 2014 where the team drew three matches, lost two and won one match against the host team. The performance here will be a source of encouragement for their upcoming tournaments as well.

“We are looking forward to perform to the best of our capabilities in our match against the Netherlands and start well in the tournament,” captain Rani Rampal, who is also the ace striker of the senior team, said in a release on Saturday.

“With the world’s best teams participating, we will aim to get on the field with good tactics and enough zeal showcasing the strength of our team. We have practised hard and hope to give a tough fight in all the face offs proving ourselves better than any other team,” she added.

Several players of the senior team — defenders Deep Grace Ekka and Namita Toppo and midfielders M.Lily Chanu and Lilima Minz — are also part of the team.

After the first match, India will face Germany, England, New Zealand and China.

“The team is well prepared. The tournament is crucial for the girls to boost their morale for the upcoming major tournaments and hence we will not only try to perform well but also take the best lessons from the games to grow,” coach N.S. Saini said.

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