Hockey India today announced a 34-member squad for the women's national camp beginning Friday as chief coach Harendra Singh emphasised on the need for speed and agility ahead of a busy year.
'Since 2018 is extremely important with mega events in the pipeline it is necessary for the team to stay fit and injury-free but at the same time the players need to be fast and agile," Singh said ahead of the camp.
"Keeping this in mind we will have a series of classes and sessions to guide players and educate them on significance of fitness and achieving our target in major competitions," he said further.
Indian women's hockey team, which ended 2017 by winning the Asia Cup in Japan, will report for the camp at the Sports Authority of India in Bengaluru.
The team will begin its campaign this year with the Korea tour from March 3-12 when it will play five matches against the hosts at the Jinchun National Athletic Centre.
In May, the team will return to Korea to defend its Asian Champions Trophy title.
"The Korea tour is important as we want to implement a few combinations in Korea and get some good match practice before we leave for the Commonwealth Games," Singh said.
"With the 5th Women's Asian Champions Trophy being held in Korea, it is good to get used to the playing conditions in that country and also matches against the home team ahead of a big competition is always good," the coach added.
The players' fitness graph has witnessed a steep climb over the past year including significant improvement in the Yo-Yo Test which measures an athlete's ability to repeatedly perform high-intensity aerobic work.
The team also features in the World Cup in London in July and the Asian Games in August.
"Fitness is a long process and we are happy that Wayne Lombard (Scientific Advisor) has worked so closely where the girls have shown a good graph. After two camps that focused mainly on fitness and speed with technical skill development, now the focus will be on implementing different combinations of attack and defence," Singh added.
Goalkeepers: Savita, Rajani Etimarpu, Swati.
Defenders: Deep Grace Ekka, P Sushila Chanu, Sunita Lakra, Gurjit Kaur, Hnialum Lal Ruat Feli, Navdeep Kaur, Rashmita Minz, Neelu Dadiya.
Midfielders: Namita Toppo, Nikki Pradhan, Deepika, Karishma Yadav, Renuka Yadav, Navjot Kaur, Monika, Lilima Minz, Neha Goyal, Udita, M Lily Chanu, Nilanjali Rai, Suman Devi Thoudam.
Forwards: Rani, Vandana Katariya, Preeti Dubey, Reena Khokhar, Anupa Barla, Sonika, Lalremsiami, Poonam Rani, Navneet Kaur, Navpreet Kaur.