Bengaluru, May 25 : In their quest to improve and gain International exposure, the 18-member Indian Junior Women's Hockey Team on Friday night left for the Cantor Fitzgerald U21 International 4-Nations Tournament in Dublin, Ireland followed by matches against Belarus to be held in Baranovichi, Belarus.
The team led by Suman Devi Thoudam and Vice-Captained by Gagandeep Kaur will first travel to Dublin, Ireland where they will play a match each against the Irish National team and Canada Junior Women's team on 28 May and 29 May 2019, respectively. This will be followed by the Cantor Fitzgerald U21 International 4-Nations Tournament featuring India, Ireland, Canada and Scotland which is scheduled to be held from 31 May - 4th June 2019.
The team will then play yet another match against the Irish National Team on 6 June 2019 following which, the Indian Junior Women's team will travel to Belarus to play five matches with the host nation's Senior, Junior and Development teams starting 9 June 2019.
"It will be a hectic tour with back-to-back matches and this kind of exposure is important for the team to understand what it takes to play top quality hockey and recover soon enough to play the next match. The emphasis will be on learning the importance of proper recovery apart from giving their 100 per cent and executing their individual roles to perfection," expressed Coach Baljeet Saini ahead of the team's departure.
Suman Devi Thoudam who has been given the responsibility of leading the team said the tour will help in their preparations for the Junior Women's World Cup qualification tournaments.
"Playing against strong teams will definitely help us gain the right kind of exposure especially as we are vying to qualify for the Junior Women's World Cup 2021. Quite a few girls in this team have played at good number of international matches and some of them have also played at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires last year. We look forward to doing well on this tour," Thoudam said. UNI