Pro League will be about polishing our game, says Schopman

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Archive image of Janneke Schopman

The Pro League will help India’s women’s hockey team refine their game plan ahead of this year’s big tournaments, said head coach Janneke Schopman, who also hinted at some experimentation at the event.

The Indian team has a busy schedule with several big budget tournaments like World Cup, Commonwealth Games and Asian Games scheduled.

“I want our team to perform and be able to be at their best in a tournament like the World Cup or the Asian Games. The players have to be at the level to get the experience they need,” Schopman said during virtual media. interaction organized by Hockey India.

“And with the arrival of COVID, our players didn’t have a lot of experience in the two, two and a half years of playing real games.

So the Pro League will be a lot about how people preserve their sport, making sure they can play and also refining our gameplay.”

“You will see changes in our roster, but I’m not going to bring in 10-15 new players or anything like that,” she said.

Although he didn’t get his expected result at the Asian Cup of Hockey last month, Schopman is happy with the team’s progress.

The Indian team failed to defend their title at last month’s Asian Hockey Cup in Muscat, finishing third.
However, they started their Pro League campaign with a bang, beating China 7-1.

“The girls did really well. Of course we didn’t get the results we wanted in terms of scoring, but I was actually quite happy to see the progress throughout the tournament towards the Pro League,” Schopman said.

“I’m really trying to focus on how we want to play and how do we want to attack and how do we want to look like as a team and I think we’ve made great strides there.
So overall it was not a good experience, not great in terms of results, but good in terms of progress.”

The Indian team are now due to meet Spain on February 26-27 in the Pro League.

Matches against the Netherlands have been postponed after the Dutch women’s team withdrew from their back-to-back FIH Pro League matches scheduled to be played in Bhubaneswar on February 19-20 due to an increase in COVID cases. -19 in European Country.

Speaking about the preparations, Schopman said: “It’s like changing gears.

The Netherlands faced Spain a week ago.
So we had these games and instead of watching the Netherlands, you’re watching Spain now.

“Spain are a very good team, a very skilful team, they would love to move the ball and create technical opportunities.”

Schopman took over from Sjoerd Marijne, who left after a successful Olympic campaign, and the new coach has already implemented some changes according to his philosophy.

“Now is the time for India to take the next step and the next step is to play against these teams, and maybe win to become a more dominant team.
If we want to be more dominant, we have to go further if we win the ball more.

“We have to train a little differently. We have to create more opportunities.
So yes, slowly but surely you are building from the foundation. You change little things.

“I like attacking. At the same time, I like a very solid defense that plays a bit higher up the pitch. And sometimes we make mistakes and that’s expensive, of course, but it’s okay as I see our team getting better. develop.”

When asked if India could field two different teams for different tournaments, Schopman said that was a possibility.

“India are having discussions about it. I don’t know yet what the plan will be. We are currently really focused on the World Cup.
And of course, the Asian Games are the most important tournament of this year where we want to qualify directly for the Olympic Games.

“We are currently under construction. We are looking at what will be the best way for us to prepare.”

– Reported by PTI

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