The Indian Women’s Hockey team have blown hot and cold in the last few months. But they showed great character to comeback at the Commonwealth Games as they bagged the bronze medal beating New Zealand in Birmingham. This win came after a very underwhelming World Cup campaign where they struggled to secure wins. Hence the Commonwealth Games bronze medal means a lot to the players and also to coach Janneke Schopman.
However now the Indian Eves are eyeing the Women’s Nations Cup 2022 scheduled to happen in Valencia, Spain from 11-17 December. Therefore the team has been preparing at the Sain centre in bengaluru and are looking to improve on the areas they have been lacking.
Midfielder Neha Goyal shared how the Nations Cup will provide them a great platform to showcase their skills and hopefully they will be able to build on their recent success. “The FIH Hockey Women’s Nations Cup 2022 will see us play some good teams and it will provide us with game time, for which there is no substitute. We have been doing well against the big teams consistently in recent years and in Spain, we will aim to do more of the same,” Neha said.
The Indian eves are in Pool B with Canada, Japan and South Africa while Pool A comprises Ireland, Italy, Korea and hosts Spain. Neha has already featured in 115 appearances for the senior team believes that they cannot take teams lightly at the Nations Cup. She shares how different teams have different strengths and can be dangerous for them on their day. “We can’t take any team lightly. Each team is very dangerous in their own way and we will have to play our best hockey so that the team can reach the final rounds. Every match is a new day and the past results will not have any consequence on the present,” Neha Goyal shared.
India will play South Africa, Canada, Japan once each at the Nations Cup before the ranking round begins. The Eves will start their campaign against Canada, followed by Japan and lastly the South Africans. Neha feels that these matches against these teams will help the team become stronger and get used to different situations playing different teams.
“These international matches and the exposure bring us face to face with tough situations and we learn to overcome it and grow. It will only help the team become an even closer-knit unit and that will undoubtedly help us in the future,” she concluded.