Hockey India (HI) announced the Indian junior womens team -- to be led by defender Salima Tete -- for the forthcoming encounters versus France. The matches will be held from February 8 to 13 in Lucknow and Gorakhpur. The team will play a total of four matches against the French national team. The first two encounters will take place on February 8 and 9 at the Padma Shri Mohammad Shahid Synthetic Hockey Stadium in Lucknow. On the other hand, the third match will take place on February 11 at the Veer Bahadur Singh Sports College, Gorakhpur. Both sides will return to Lucknow for the fourth and final match on February 13.
The 20-member team includes goalkeepers Bichu Devi Kharibam and Khushboo along with Philicia Toppo, Gagandeep Kaur, Salima, Priyanka, Suman Devi Thoudam and Ishika Choudhary guarding the defence. The midfield will be spearheaded by Mahima Choudhary, Prabhleen Kaur, Mariana Kujur, Reet, Baljeet Kaur and Preeti. Young forward Lalremsiami, who is part of the national team for their Spain Tour 2019, will be leading the forward line along with Sharmila Devi, Mumtaz Khan, Jiwan Kishori Toppo, Ajmina Kujur and Jyoti.
Coach Baljeet Singh affirmed, "The upcoming matches against the French national team will be helpful for our team in gaining match fitness and experience different match situations. We will be up against a group of players who have played together for a considerably long time, and I feel our team's combination for the matches is such that it will give all the players an opportunity to contribute with their efforts on the field."
Our players will get a much-needed exposure and this challenge will help us in developing these players for bigger challenges that the team is going to face in the future including the 8th Women's Junior Asia Cup," he added.
Aditya Sahay, a former cricket reporter/writer and statistician, has shifted gears to other sports (primarily badminton, tennis, kabaddi, hockey, golf etc). While cricket remains his first love, he enjoys covering and writing on kabaddi, hockey and tennis. He dons Germanys jersey during FIFA and believes Dhoni Dhoni hai, isko (aur) mauka mila toh bahut aage jayega