Bengaluru: Janneka Schopman, the Indian women hockey team chief coach said that at the upcoming Asia Cup, qualifying for the World Cup is the key objective for her side. She also said that she will be assessing her players’ style and standard.
India will enter Asia Cup as the defending champions, which is to be held in Muscat from 21st to 28th January. The winner of the Asia Cup will qualify for the World Cup. The World Cup is scheduled to be held in Netherlands and Spain from 1st to 17th July this year.
Asia Cup will be Schopman’s second assignment with the Indian team and she is reportedly eager to make a positive impact. “First of all, our key objective will be to qualify for the World Cup. That is most important because that is where the best teams in the world come together to compete,” said Schopman.
“I am also very keen to see the level where we are at the moment and whether we can execute the style of play that I envision for the team. I am not looking to measure my team against our opponents in the competition, but instead against my own expectations of how I want my team to play. I am eager to see how the team will perform in Oman as it will be really challenging,” Schopman added.
During the Tokyo Olympics, Schopman was Sjoerd Marijne’s deputy where Indian women had missed the bronze medal and finished fourth. Schopman said that she was working with the Indian hockey team on defining their style of play, which means a lot of movement on and off the ball. She also said that she is looking for everyone to join in attack as they want to play fast and attacking hockey. She is making sure that team’s skills and speed produce good effect, alongside being a sturdy defensive unit.