Playing in World Cup, CWG made me confident: Women hockey midfielder Sonika

Harpal Singh Bedi

Representative image: AMSTERDAM 2022 Women’s World Cup Spain & Netherlands 23 India v New Zealand (Pool B) Picture: Sonika and Hope Ralph WORLDSPORTPICS COPYRIGHT FRANK UIJLENBROEK

New Delhi: Mid fielder Sonika feels that Women’s hockey in India has evolved over the past couple of years,  “We have improved a lot as a team, have started playing solid attacking hockey and have. become more dominant in the attack.

” We play attacking game inside the circle and the opposition is always wary of the threat we possess inside the circle.” 

Sonika, who played crucial roles at the World Cup in Spain and Netherlands and Commonwealth Games in Birmingham,  had taken a break from the sport in 2020 due to personal reasons, made a fine comeback and was included in the squad for the FIH Pro League 2021/22.

On the back of her consistent performances, Sonika made it to the Indian squad for the World Cup where she started in all six games. At the CWG she a was a key force in the midfield as she helped the team in winning a Bronze medal.

Talking to Hockey India  Sonika said  “Returning to hockey after a long gap, and then competing for the first time in major tournaments was an extremely positive experience for me. I always had faith in the team and I knew we have the potential to perform well. But on a personal level, competing in these matches gave me a boost of confidence to face every challenge in front of me,” 

“We went with similar strategies and finished with a medal for India at the CWG so it was a matter of immense pride and happiness for our team”.

The ace mid fielder praised Chief Coach Janneke Schopman for helping her to remain fit in after she made a comeback to the team.

“Everyone supported me after I returned to the team. They gave me confidence in my abilities and kept giving me opportunities. 

“Schopman kept motivating me and helped me emotionally. She continuously kept telling me that I am a good player. I feel as a coach, she has a lot of understanding of how to take care of the players on and off the field. It really helped me a lot,” Sonika said.

Talking about her individual performance at the CWG she expressed satisfaction but added that she wishes to improve upon certain areas in the coming months.

“I was happy with my performance at the CWG but there are still some areas I want to improve upon. I spoke with all the experienced members of the team who constantly keep sharing their tips and suggestions, which I find quite helpful. I want to also improve upon my game in the defence,” 

“With Asian Games next year, I am looking forward to the upcoming competitions and to learn from the same. Our target is to ensure a podium finish at the Asian Games and to ensure an Olympic qualification,” she added.

HSB 

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