Indian women’s hockey squad focuses on short passing game

New Delhi, June 1 (IANS) Ahead of the Hockey World League (HWL) semi-finals, an Olympic qualifying tournament, members of the Indian women’s squad are focusing on improving their short passing skills.

Currently, the Indian women’s squad announced last week is training at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium here before departing for the HWL that starts from June 20 in Belgium.

Having realised their strengths and areas of improvement in the recently culminated HWL Round 2 played in New Delhi and the Hawkes’ Bay Cup played in New Zealand, the team is working on the areas that will help it in the 10-nation tournament. If India finish in the top three, they will qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

Practicing under new chief coach Mathias Ahrens, the team is upbeat ahead of their first clash against Belgium. Having made clear that holding on to the ball is the key in the opponents’ D, the team has been working on passes and tackles which will help it capitalise on the opportunities.

“It’s been a learning time under the new coach. We are feeling more confident as we realise that while we break the defence chain of opponents, what we need is to hold on to the ball, ensure clean short pass and cash in on the opportunity,” young striker Anuradha Devi said in a release on Monday.

“This has to happen in minimum time and we are working on this very closely. This will be our focus and we are hoping we will have things in our favour. We are confident and look forward to our opening match.”

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