Hours and hours of hard work was put in during the preparatory phase, paving the way for the Indian Women’s Hockey Team to bag Bronze at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Up next for the Indian Women’s Hockey Team is the FIH Hockey Women’s Nations Cup 2022 in Valencia in Spain from December 11-17. Midfielder Neha Goyal believes this provides the team with a good chance to build on their recent success.

“The FIH Hockey Women’s Nations Cup 2022 will see us play some good teams and it will provide us with game time, for which there is no substitute. We have been doing well against the big teams consistently in recent years and in Spain, we will aim to do more of the same,” Neha said.

The Indian Women’s Hockey Team have been drawn in Pool B with Canada, Japan and South Africa while Pool A comprises Ireland, Italy, Korea and hosts Spain. Neha, who has turned out for the senior team in 115 games so far for India, said “We can’t take any team lightly. Each team is very dangerous in their own way and we will have to play our best hockey so that the team can reach the final rounds. Every match is a new day and the past results will not have any consequence on the present.”

At the FIH Hockey Women’s Nations Cup 2022, the Indian Women’s Hockey Team will play Canada, Japan and South Africa once each, before the ranking rounds begin. India begins their campaign against Canada, and then play Japan before the South Africans come calling.

“These international matches and the exposure bring us face to face with tough situations and we learn to overcome it and grow. It will only help the team become an even closer-knit unit and that will undoubtedly help us in the future.”

Neha, who is from Haryana, made her debut with the Indian Women’s Hockey Team in 2014, and has found the back of the net on 17 occasions. However, she isn’t placing any personal targets just yet.

“For me, it is important that I carry out and execute the plans that Chief Coach Janneke Schopman puts in place for us. That is at the top of my priority list, helping the team work well together as a unit, so that we can win more games and keep building momentum,” she signed off.