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 their do-or die final Olympic Qualifier round in India’s hockey mecca – Odisha.
Speaking about the preparations, the women’s team captain Rani Rampal told the Press Trust of India in an interview that the team is well prepared to face the USA WNT.
“Our team is very well prepared for the match. We are focusing on how to perform well. We are not focusing on what the USA WNT are doing, but only on us, and how to better perform.”
Rani also stressed that the teams fitness is in top form, probably the best in decades 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 India-USA women’s clash will take place on 1st and 2nd November at the Kalinga Hockey Stadium in India’s Hockey Mecca – Odisha. Tickets for the event can be purchased by clicking here.