31 January 2019
New Delhi: Mariana Kujur, Ajmina Kujur, Philicia Toppo and Jiwan Kishori Toppo are the four Odia players who have been selected to the 20-member Indian Junior Women’s Hockey Team for the upcoming matches against France scheduled from Feb 8 to 13.
Hockey India (HI) on Wednesday named the Indian junior womens team, led by defender Salima Tete, for the upcoming matches against France to be held from February 8 to 13 in Lucknow and Gorakhpur.
The team will play a total of four matches against the French national team, the first two of which take place on February 8 and 9 at the Padma Shri Mohammad Shahid Synthetic Hockey Stadium in Lucknow, while the third match is scheduled to be held on February 11 at the Veer Bahadur Singh Sports College, Gorakhpur.
The teams return to Lucknow for the fourth and final match to be played on February 13.
The 20-member team consists of goalkeepers Bichu Devi Kharibam and Khushboo, with Philicia Toppo, Gagandeep Kaur, Salima, Priyanka, Suman Devi Thoudam and Ishika Choudhary guarding the defence.
The midfield will be commanded by Mahima Choudhary, Prabhleen Kaur, Mariana Kujur, Reet, Baljeet Kaur and Preeti. Young forward Lalremsiami, who is part of the national team for their Spain Tour 2019, will be leading the forward line along with Sharmila Devi, Mumtaz Khan, Jiwan Kishori Toppo, Ajmina Kujur and Jyoti.
"The upcoming matches against the French national team will be helpful for our team in gaining match fitness and experience different match situations," coach Baljeet Singh said in a statement.
"We will be up against a group of players who have played together for a considerably long time, and I feel our team's combination for the matches is such that it will give all the players an opportunity to contribute with their efforts on the field."
"Our players will get a much-needed exposure and this challenge will help us in developing these players for bigger challenges that the team is going to face in the future including the 8th Women's Junior Asia Cup," he added.
Squad: Goalkeepers: Bichu Devi Kharibam, Khushboo; Defenders: Philicia Toppo, Gagandeep Kaur, Salima Tete, Priyanka, Suman Devi Thoudam, Ishika Chaudhary; Midfielders: Mahima Choudhary, Prabhleen Kaur, Mariana Kujur, Reet, Baljeet Kaur, Preeti; Forwards: Lalremsiami, Sharmila Devi, Mumtaz Khan, Jiwan Kishori Toppo, Ajmina Kujur, Jyoti.
(With IANS Inputs)