New Delhi, February 3: Chief Coach Janneke Schopman on Friday promised a better showing by the Indian Women's Hockey Team in the FIH Pro League starting in Bhubaneshwar from Saturday.
“It’s great to be back in Odisha, everyone here is supportive of hockey and we want to do our best here. Now we want to show we are a good team and we can play against good teams as well. We won’t get the Olympics back but we can only look forward, and that is our plan, we want to show that we can play hockey.” Schepman told media persons
The Pro League 2023/24 is exciting as we have the opportunity to see how we fare against some of the best teams in the world, like the Netherlands and Australia, the exciting thing is that we are up against these teams and they are not practice matches, it is hugely important for them before the Olympics and it will be great to take them on,” the coach opined.
"I think we can score goals and defend well but we are facing good teams and it will be interesting to see how it unfolds. We want to show up here, fight hard, and show our strengths. Every individual has to bring their unique skills to the table. We want to challenge whoever we are playing. Every other team here is going to the Olympics, but I think we can compete with them," she added.
India qualified for the League after clinching the Gold medal at the Women's Nations Cup Spain. In their maiden appearance in the FIH Hockey Pro League 2021/22, the team finished third behind Argentina and the Netherlands.
The Pro League (Women) is scheduled to take place at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar from 3rd to 9th February, before moving to the Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium in Rourkela, where the league will continue from 12th to 18th February.
Five national teams – India, China, the United States of America, the Netherlands, and Australia – will participate in the India leg of the FIH Pro League, facing each other once in Bhubaneswar and once in Rourkela.
India will take on reigning Asian Games Champions China in their first game on 3rd February, followed by a clash with the Netherlands on 4th February. They will face off against Australia on 7th February before playing their last game in Bhubaneswar against the United States on 9th February.