Players are focused on winning tournament: Hockey Madhya Pradesh coach Vandana Uikey

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Pune: Defending Champions Hockey Madhya Pradesh will look to repeat their performance from the previous season when they take part in the 14th Hockey India Senior Women National Championship 2024 which begins on Wednesday, March 13 in Pune, Maharashtra.

Many budding players will find themselves in the mix with experienced Indian international players when their respective states begin their campaign in the 14th Hockey India Senior Women National Championship 2024. While the senior players will look to make the best use of their game time, the youngsters will look to break through into the national team by means of good performances in this tournament.

Defending Champions Hockey Madhya Pradesh has been slotted in Pool A alongside Hockey Bihar and Chhattisgarh Hockey for the tournament. With one team qualifying from each of the eight pools for the quarter-finals, Hockey Madhya Pradesh will want to be at the top of their game right from the get-go. The topper of Pool A will play the topper of Pool H which consists of Hockey Bengal, Hockey Unit of Tamil Nadu, Hockey Gujarat and Telangana Hockey. Hockey Madhya Pradesh will face Chhattisgarh Hockey in the opening match of the tournament on 13th March before playing their second and final game of the group stage against Hockey Bihar the following day.

Speaking about the 13th Hockey India Senior Women National Championship 2023 in Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh, Vandana Uikey, coach of the defending Champions Hockey Madhya Pradesh, said, “Last season was fantastic. It was the first time the video referral system was introduced and it made a massive difference. We had a great experience in Kakinada and were very happy with the way the team performed and won the championship.”

“With the national project coming up, a lot of the players are eying spots. But while individual performances matter, the players are focused on winning the tournament and have prepared for the same accordingly. We have had a good preparatory camp and are ready to face whatever comes our way,” she said when asked about the preparation for the upcoming 14th Hockey India Senior Women National Championship 2024.

“I think Hockey Haryana and Hockey Jharkhand are very strong teams and extremely competitive. However, we have prepared ourselves to take on whatever is thrown at us,” Vandana said, speaking about the teams that she believed could prove to be quite challenging. “We have a great bunch of players with us who are looking to make it to the next level. Everyone on the team is of high calibre and has the potential to do really well and turn a few heads,” she concluded. Hockey Madhya Pradesh will play Chhattisgarh on March 13 at 7:00 hrs IST.

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