Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], May 28 (ANI): The Indian Junior Women's Hockey Team left for the prestigious Women's Junior Asia Cup 2023 from Kempegowda International Airport on Sunday morning. The Junior Asia Cup, a qualifying event for the FIH Junior World Cup, is scheduled to begin on June 2 in Kakamigahara, Japan.
The Indian Junior Women's team will be up against Korea, Malaysia, Chinese Taipei and Uzbekistan in Pool A during the group stage. At the same time, Pool B consists of hosts Japan, China, Kazakhstan, Hong Kong China and Indonesia. The Women's Junior Asia Cup 2023 is an important event for the Indian Junior Women's Hockey Team as the top three nations from the tournament will qualify for the FIH Junior Women's Hockey World Cup 2023.
India's campaign will be spearheaded by Captain Preeti along with Vice Captain Deepika and the squad also features players who have had the experience of playing with the Senior side. "We are very confident of our campaign. We have a good, experienced team. We have worked hard over the past few months and the team is quite excited and eager to do our best in Japan," expressed Preeti.
India will begin their campaign against Uzbekistan on June 03 followed by a match against Malaysia on 5th June. They will take on Korea on June 06 followed by a match against Chinese Taipei. The Semis will be held on June 10 while the Final will be played on June 11.
"We have been fortunate to gain some experience playing against the Senior side as we trained on the same campus. Our team has also been on campus together for a while so there is a good team bonding and we know our strengths and weaknesses," explained Vice Captain Deepika ahead of the team's departure.
The Junior side will be looking to take one match at a time and aims to finish on the podium. "Typically, in this tournament, India has always done well and we look forward to keeping that trend going. Our first aim will be to finish on top in the group stage and then take it one match at a time in the knockout stage," added Deepika.
On June 3, India will take on Uzbekistan in their first Pool A match. (ANI)