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‘Priority in 2018 is to get good results against top sides’, says Chief Coach

Women hockey team’s chief coach Harendra Singh has set his sights on achieving positive results against higher ranked sides as India embark on an “important” 2018 season.

After a short two-week break, 33 women players will report for the national camp starting in Bengaluru’s Sports Authority of India campus on Wednesday.

“It is an extremely important year for us. It was a satisfying 2017 where we ended the year with a career high world ranking of 10, but the team has self-belief of achieving bigger goals.

“The girls know they are capable of doing well against higher ranked teams and getting good results against these teams will be one of our top priorities going into a new season. It is important to play these major tournaments in 2018 with the fittest team,” said Harendra.

With important tournaments like Commonwealth Games and Asian Games lined up, 2018 is extremely crucial for Indian hockey.

The 21-day camp that concludes on January 24 will lay the foundation for a crucial year for the women.

The Indian girls will take part in the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in April, fifth women’s Asians Champions Trophy in Korea in May where they will defend their title followed by an exposure tour to Spain in June ahead of the women’s World Cup in London starting in July and the 18th Asian Games in Jakarta in August which is also an Olympic Qualifying event.

In their previous camp, the team’s focus was on improving their strength and fitness, agility and speed apart from skill-driven training.

“It was a gruelling camp and apart from these aspects we also worked on a lot on mental conditioning. In this camp too we will continue with our fitness program along with tactical training,” the coach said.

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