Hockey India on Thursday named the 20-member Indian Women’s Hockey Team for the FIH Women’s Junior World Cup scheduled to begin on April 1 in Potchefstroom, South Africa.
The Indian team, grouped in pool D along with Germany, Malaysia and Wales, will be captained by Salima Tete and vice captained by Ishika Chaudhary. They will kick-start their campaign on April 2 against Wales Junior Women followed by their match against German on April 3 and they will play their last group-stage match on April 5 against Malaysia. The Quarter Finals will be held on April 8 whereas the Semifinals is scheduled for April 10 and the final on April 12.
The FIH Women’s Junior World Cup was scheduled to be held in 2021 but was postponed to 2022 due to the omicron-threat in South Africa.
The 20-member squad consists of goalkeepers Bichu Devi Kharibam, who recently made her Senior India debut at the FIH Hockey Pro League matches against Germany, and Khushboo. The defenders include Marina Lalramnghaki, Preeti, Priyanka, Ishika Chaudhary and Akshata Abaso Dekhale, who also made her Senior India debut against Germany at the recently held FIH Hockey Pro League matches in Bhubaneswar.
Reet, Ajmina Kujur, Baljeet Kaur and Vaishnavi Vitthal Phalke will form the Indian midfield along with Salima Tete, Sharmila Devi, Lalremsiami — all three were part of the Indian Women’s team that finished fourth in the Tokyo Olympics.
The forwardline will feature Lalrindiki, Jiwan Kishori Toppo, Mumtaz Khan, Beauty Dungdung, Deepika and Sangita Kumari, who also made her Senior debut recently.
Speaking about the team, Chief Coach Janneke Schopman said, “After a long wait our Junior players are definitely ready to start their Junior World Cup experience. It was difficult to finalize the selection as all players showed a lot of progress in the past months which is great to see.”
“With a couple of players making their debut for the Senior Team in the Pro League recently, I believe that the added experience will have a positive influence. The team overall has a nice mixture of different skills and talents and am excited to see them taking on the best teams in the world at U21 level,” Schopman added.
The Indian Junior Women’s Team’s best show in recent times was at the FIH Junior Women’s World Cup in 2013 when they finished on the podium with a Bronze Medal beating nemesis England in a shootout.
Indian Junior Women’s Team:
Goalkeepers : Bichu Devi Kharibam, Khushboo
Defenders: Marina Lalramnghaki, Preeti, Priyanka, Ishika Chaudhary (Vice Captain), Akshata Abaso Dekhale
Midfielders: Vaishnavi Vitthal Phalke, Salima Tete (Captain), Reet , Ajmina Kujur , Sharmila Devi, Lalremsiami , Baljeet Kaur
Forwards: Lalrindiki, Jiwan Kishori Toppo, Mumtaz Khan, Beauty Dungdung, Deepika, Sangita Kumari
Standbys: Madhuri Kindo, Neelam, Manju Chorsiya, Rutuja Dadaso Pisal, Annu