It has been a little more than a year since coach Sjoerd Marijne took charge of the Indian women’s hockey team. Since then, he has guided the team through five tournaments and five test series— and made wholesome changes to the squad, giving playing time to youngsters and helping the team imbibe a superior style of play.
But the time for experimentation and preparation is finally over and the real test for the coach and his all new super-fit team starts as India take take on USA women’s hockey team in the final Olympic Qualifier round in Bhubaneswar.
Speaking about the preparations, the women’s team captain Rani Rampal said in an interview to the Press Trust of India said that the team is well prepared to face the USA women.
“Our team is very well prepared for that match. We are focusing on how to perform well. Our focus is not on the USA Women’s hockey team but on us, how better we perform.”
Rampal also stressed that the teams fitness is in top form, and that they are ready to face any team in the world.
Women’s team head coach Sjoerd Marijne also expressed his satisfaction over the fitness of the players.
“The fitness of the girls has improved significantly. They are very fit. It has been a long process but now we are there where we want to be,” he said.
The Indian women’s hockey team will travel to England to play a 5-match test series against the England women’s hockey team as a part of their preparation for the Olympic Qualifier.