The India ‘A’ Women’s Hockey Team will be in action here on Friday at the Padma Shri Mohammad Shahid Synthetic Hockey Stadium as they take on the France ‘A’ Women’s team in the first of four Matches scheduled to take place from 8th – 13th February 2019 in the cities of Lucknow and Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh.
The Indian team, led by Defender Salima Tete, comprises of players from the Indian Development Women’s Core Group and will look to gain much needed exposure against a France side who have a mixture of youth and experience in their 21-member squad.
India ‘A’ Women’s Hockey team’s Coach, Baljeet Singh, is excited about the prospects of his team playing at home against France, and wants to help his players in gaining valuable match experience in-front of home support.
He said, “We are all very excited to be playing at home in Lucknow and Gorakhpur against a French team who will give us tough competition in the four Matches. These Matches will help us in developing these players to play together as a unit, and to understand the different strategies that we want to implement. The fact that we are playing in-front of home support makes it even more exciting for the girls as it will be a proud moment for them.”
Singh also feels that playing such Matches at home in between the National Coaching Camps will help in escalating the development process of the players.
“When it comes to the Junior teams, we have limited competitions throughout the year so I welcome the move from Hockey India and the French Hockey Federation to play bilateral Matches. Such initiatives will help us in implementing different tactics and combinations that we practice during Camps, and gives us the opportunity to develop these players for bigger challenges,” said the Indian Coach.
After the first Match on Friday, the two teams will travel to Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh where they will play their second Match on Sunday, 10th February 2019 at the Veer Bahadur Singh Sports College, following which they return to Lucknow to play the third and fourth matches on Tuesday, 12th February 2019 and Wednesday, 13th February 2019 respectively.
The 20-member India ‘A’ Women’s team consists of Goalkeepers Bichu Devi Kharibam and Khushboo, with Philicia Toppo, Gagandeep Kaur, Salima Tete, Priyanka, Suman Devi Thoudam and Ishika Choudhary serving as Defenders. The midfield will be commanded by Mahima Choudhary, Prabhleen Kaur, Mariana Kujur, Reet, Baljeet Kaur and Preeti, while the Forward-line will see Lalremsiami, Sharmila Devi, Mumtaz Khan, Jiwan Kishori Toppo, Ajmina Kujur and Jyoti in action.
The India ‘A’ Women’s team will play their opening Match against France on 8th February 2019 at 1700hrs onwards at the Padma Shri Mohammad Shahid Synthetic Hockey Stadium in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.