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National Games has come at the right time, says Indian women’s team hockey coach Janneke Schopman

Janneke Schopman

Bengaluru, October 7: Indian's women hockey coach Janneke Schopman has been spending considerable time in the spectators' gallery at the Dhyan Chand Hockey Stadium in Rajkot watching the group stage action in the 36th National Games.

The former Dutch midfielder is on a scouting trip to select fresh faces for the Indian camp and believes that the National Games has come at the right time for women's hockey.

"The National Games couldn't have asked for a better time than this 36th edition which enables the athletes to tune up for international engagements," Schopman told Hockey India.

The Indian women's hockey team is in a rebuilding phase after finishing fourth in the Tokyo Olympics and the coach is keen on expanding the pool of players that can make the squad.

FIH Coach of the Year Awards: Indian hockey chief coaches Graham Reid and Janneke Schopman credit their team FIH Coach of the Year Awards: Indian hockey chief coaches Graham Reid and Janneke Schopman credit their team

"India has huge talent and such tournament will open doors for them to be spotted. Besides I'm here to watch the Haryana team in particular because there are 10 Indian players.

"I would have loved to see the Indian players play against each other. I feel sorry for some of them who aren't here, as their state have not made the cut," said the coach who has now sets her eye on the FIH Nation League which is to be held in Spain next month.

Schopman insisted that domestic tournaments in which up and coming players get to play against international stars were important to expand the talent pool.

"It's a great feeling to see the internationals from the camp to take part in such domestic events. Domestic calendar is a must for any national side. And it also opens doors for the other players to make the cut into the national side," she added.

Schopman, who was recently honoured with FIH Coach of the Year award at the FIH Hockey Star Awards 2021-2022 was in awe of the team.

"The players work hard, want to learn and always show their dedication. It's a great pleasure to be their coach," said Schopman.

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Story first published: Friday, October 7, 2022, 13:05 [IST]
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