Indian women’s hockey team defender Nisha Sharma feels that it was great exposure for her and the other young players to play top teams like Germany and Argentina in their own countries. She also added that it has boosted the morale of the players and they also wanted to prove a point and finally they are getting their chances to do so against top nations.
Nisha made her debut in 2019 at the FIH Women’s Series Finals in Hiroshima as the Indian women’s team went up against Uruguay. “Playing against top teams like Argentina and Germany requires a tough mental makeup. Initially, I worried about taking on a world class team. But playing those matches on their home ground helped me overcome my fear”, she stated.
The Indian Women’s team went on a tour to Argentina in January this year where the young defender was also a part of the squad. There the Indian Eves played against the host nations’ junior and developmental sides. She also made the cut to visit Germany in the following month. Their head coach Sjoerd Marijne’s girls featured in four matches against the hosts.
“I feel getting that exposure to play against such top teams early in my career will help me improve as a player. I am grateful for the opportunity. These tours have certainly helped in boosting my confidence levels” stated the 25-year-old Nisha.
“Both Argentina and Germany play very tactical hockey. The way they communicate and look for gaps to penetrate into the circle is very unique. Defending against them was not easy but at the same time, there was so much to learn from them,” she said.
Both the trips were arranged keeping in mind the upcoming Tokyo Olympics as India hope that they can secure podium finishes in both men’s and women’s hockey. A feat that looks very difficult but if both the teams perform to their true potential then it is very much achievable.
Nisha is determined to work harder and work on areas where her chief coach, Sjoerd Marijne has instructed her to improve. “My immediate focus is to work on the areas as advised by the coaching staff. Following the Germany Tour, each of our performances were analyzed. We have been told what areas we need to focus on”, she stated.
“With the Olympics fast approaching, all players want to prove their mettle in order to find a place in the team. There is a healthy competition within the core group which pushes each other to perform better. Personally, I want to learn as much as possible from the senior players and execute my role to perfection,” Nisha signed off.