Hockey India goes with tried-and-tested in picking core probables for women’s national camp

Seasoned campaigners like goalkeeper Savita Punia and forward Vandana Katariya were on Monday included in Hockey India’s 33-strong list of core probables with some new faces also finding their way into the pruned group that will train here till May 16 for the upcoming FIH Pro League fixtures.

Hockey India (HI) had earlier selected 60 players for the camp before trimming the squad strength based on the selection trials which were held here on April 6 and 7 after the recent National Championship.

The Indian women’s hockey team is set to travel to Antwerp and London to face Argentina, Belgium, Germany, and Great Britain in the FIH Hockey Pro League starting May 22.

Hockey India High Performance Director Herman Kruis said the new core group has the potential to achieve big things in future.

“The 14th Senior Women’s National Championship was used to filter out the best hockey players from across the country, and over the last week the coaches and selectors have further handpicked the 33 players they believe have the potential to propel the Indian women’s hockey team to greater heights,” said Kruis The familiar faces include current skipper Punia, defender Nikki Pradhan, mid-fielders Salima Tete, Ajmina Kujur and Nisha.

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India’s first-choice forwards like Lalremsiami, Sangita Kumar and Katariya were also in the group.

HI had promised a revamped national camp after the team failed to qualify for the Paris Olympics, a big step backwards after the historic fourth-place finish in the Tokyo Olympics.

The most notable new additions in the camp were 22-year-old Marina Lalramnghaki, who represented Mizoram, and the 25-year-old Manisha Chauhan, who represented Manipur, in the nationals.

Preeti Dubey, who made her last appearance for the senior side during the World League Semifinal in 2017, has clawed her way back into the national setup after impressing the selectors and coaches in the assessment camp here.

Similarly, goalkeeper Madhuri Kindo, defenders Ropni Kumari, Preeti, midfielder Edula Jyoti and forwards Deepika Soreng and Rutuja Pisal have stepped up from the junior team that featured in last year’s Junior World Cup.

The 33-member core group:

Goalkeepers: Savita Punia, Bichu Devi Kharibam, Bansari Solanki, Madhuri Kindo.

Defenders: Nikki Pradhan, Udita, Ishika Chaudhary, Monika, Ropni Kumari, Mahima Chaudhary, Jyoti Chhatri, Preeti.

Midfielders: Salima Tete, Marina Lalramnghaki, Vaishnavi Phalke, Neha, Jyoti, Edula Jyoti, Baljeet Kaur, Manisha Chauhan, Akshata Abaso Dhekale, Ajmina Kujur, Nisha.

Forwards: Mumtaz Khan, Lalremsiami, Sangita Kumari, Deepika, Sharmila Devi, Navneet Kaur, Deepika Soreng, Preeti Dubey, Vandana Katariya, Rutuja Dadaso Pisal.

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