Hockey
‘Still many areas to improve’: Indian Women’s Hockey coach Janneke Schopman

‘Still many areas to improve’: Indian Women’s Hockey coach Janneke Schopman

Indian Women's Hockey coach Janneke Schopman doesn't want to leave any stone unturned in their preparation for the Olympic qualifiers.

Following their Asian Champions Trophy triumph, Indian Women’s Hockey team now eye spot in the Olympics. Coach Janneke Schopman doesn’t want to leave any stone unturned in their preparation for the Olympic qualifiers.

Having missed out on the direct qualification, the team now gears up for the Olympic qualifiers that is scheduled to be held in Ranchi from January 13 to 19 next year.Speaking at a press meet after the Asian Champions Trophy win, she said that the team still needs improvement in several areas.

Also Read: Indian women’s hockey team achieves new high after Asian Champions Trophy title

“There are still many areas that we can improve. The use of our referral we can improve, although it was good in the (Asian Champions Trophy) final . Our penalty corner defence and attack are ongoing areas of attention. Defence is improving but it is something that we need to keep focusing on. We also need to get better in creating opportunities playing against a close defence,” said Janneke Schopman.

India were one of the favourites to win gold at the Asian Games. However the team suffered a shock semifinal exit and settled for bronze medal. Speaking about what changed after the loss, Schopman said, “I think for us as a team, it was important to look at ourselves to see what didn’t go well and what we need to improve. We did an extensive evaluation with the team.”

The team also roped in mental conditioning coach Peter Haberl ahead of the Asian Champions Trophy. “With the help of Peter, we were able to address things that previously might have been solely focused on my shoulders. I’m not an expert in the mental side of things. Having an expert in that is very important. It was refreshing to have someone give me feedback and help us perform better,” added Janneke Schopman.

Also Read: Indian team celebrating with Asian Champions Trophy will make you misty-eyed

‘Gives us confidence ahead of Olympic qualifiers’: Janneke Schopman

Janneke Schopman says that the Asian Champions Trophy triumph has now given the team much needed confidence. “We performed quite well. It gives us the confidence that we are back on track. We need to keep doing the same things moving towards the Olympic qualifiers.”

Asian Champions Trophy win helped India achieve 6th spot in the world rankings. The team will be up against New Zealand, the USA and Italy in Pool B of the women’s FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers.

Speaking about the opponents. Schopman said, “We know New Zealand well. We played them in the World Cup and Commonwealth and haven’t seen them in a while. Against USA, we played in the Pro League last year. We have never seen Italy in competition.”

“For me, It’s good to play at home. We will prepare well. We know hat these teams can do and how we are going to play. Let’s see how it goes,” she concuded.

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