India junior women’s hockey captain Vaishnavi Vitthal Phalke has said the team’s preparations for the Uniphar U23 5-Nations Tournament 2022 have gone as per the script and the side was hoping to replicate its form when it takes on Ireland in the opener.
The team will be back in action for the first time after the FIH women’s junior World Cup South Africa 2021 when it plays Ireland at UCD Dublin on June 19. India will also play Netherlands, USA, and Ukraine in the league stage of the competition.
Speaking about the team’s preparations ahead of their opener, India captain Vaishnavi Vitthal Phalke said, “We are finally here to play at the Uniphar U23 5-Nations 2022 and we could not be happier. The weather here is great. We have had a few practice sessions to get adjusted to the conditions. We have played well during training, and now we’re hoping to replicate it in the upcoming matches,” Phalke said.
Beauty Dungdung, who has been named Phalke’s deputy for the series, reiterated her captain’s sentiments, saying that the team is fully prepared for the competition.
“We have trained very well and we are quite excited because this is a huge opportunity for us to showcase our talent. This trip is also a fantastic exposure for our side. So we’re just going to take it one game at a time, focus on ourselves and our game, and, yes, improve with each game,” Dungdung said.
Following their game against Ireland on June 19, India will go up against the Netherlands on June 20. Thereafter, the team will face Ukraine on June 22, before locking horns with the US in their final league match on June 23.
At the end of the round-robin stage, the top two teams will directly qualify for the final while the third and fourth-placed sides will battle it out in the bronze medal play-off match. The final is slated to be held on June 26.