New Delhi [India]: Hockey India on Tuesday announced the women’s national team for the fourth edition of the Asian Champions Trophy to be played in Singapore between October 29 and November 5 at the world-class Sengkang Hockey Stadium.
The tournament will feature the Asian continent’s five best teams – defending Champions Japan, India, China, Korea and Malaysia.
India’s campaign for the crown will be led by striker Vandana Katariya who will shoulder the responsibilities of Captain. The gritty Sunita Lakra (defender) has been named the vice captain for the tournament.
The Asian Champions Trophy will follow a round robin format with each team playing each other once followed by the Gold and Bronze medal matches.
“Though the Olympics could have ended better for the girls, they are high on confidence as they got to see what it really takes to play at the highest level and are vying to showcase top quality hockey during the Asian Champions Trophy. The team has been training at SAI, Bhopal over the past three weeks and are looking fresh from a well-deserved break post Rio,” said Neil Hawgood, chief coach of India women hockey team.
Meanwhile, Vandana Katariya feels the tournament will help the team access where they stand.
“I feel honoured to lead the team as they are a great bunch and we understand each other’s weak and strong points. Rio was a great experience and there is a lot of scope for us to improve and I feel this tournament will help us understand where we stand and how we can improve our game as a team as well as individually,” Katariya said.
The 18-member squad is as follows:
Savita, Rajani Etimarpu (Goalkeepers), Deep Grace Ekka, Renuka Yadav, Sunita Lakra (VC), Hnialum Lal Ruat Feli, Namita Toppo (Defenders), Nikki Pradhan, Navjot Kaur, Monika, Rani, Deepika, Navdeep Kaur (Midfielders), Poonam Rani, Anuradha Devi Thokchom, Vandana Katariya (C), Preeti Dubey, Punam Barla (Forwards). (ANI)