India women’s hockey team midfielder Lilima Minz feels the core group, currently preparing for the Olympics, has the right mix of youth and experience which is ‘crucial to give the team direction in difficult situations’.
“In the national camp, there is a healthy mix of experienced players who have played many international games for India, and young players who have the hunger and drive to prove themselves at the highest level. This kind of balance allows the young players to have the guidance of senior members who know what it is like to play at the Olympics,” said the 27-year-old, who has played 133 games for the country over a decade-long association with the national team.
She also said that the youngsters keep pushing the seniors to perform at their best.
“At the same time, these young players keep the senior members on their toes as they know that there is someone who can replace them if (they) do not perform well,” said Lilima, who was part of the India team which won silver at the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games.
Lilima said that it is helpful to have a core group of players who have experienced an occasion like the Olympics.
“The fact that several players from the 2016 (Rio) Olympics squad are present here in this camp is a good thing because sometimes players can get overwhelmed at a grand occasion like the Olympics. This is where players who have been there before can offer their much-needed advice. Moreover, since our core group of players has played together for several years, we have a good understanding and communication on the field of how we want to play.”