The 20-year-old will captain India at the upcoming Women’s Junior World Cup.

The FIH Junior Women’s World Cup will begin in South Africa from April 1st. India are in group D along with Wales, Germany and Malaysia. The Women in Blue will start their campaign against Wales on April 1, followed by a match against Germany on April 3. They will play their final group match against Malaysia on April 5.

Before the start of their Junior World Cup journey, Captain Salima Tete gave an insight into their training, goals and expectations. Here are the excerpts.

On their preparations ahead of the Junior World Cup

The Indian team got four months extra to prepare for the Junior World Cup because of the postponement of the event due to COVID-19. Speaking on their preparations ahead of the tournament, captain Salima Tete said, “We are playing our practice matches with the seniors. Before this, all these facilities were not available.”

“All the juniors are not that experienced, so this really helps the team. Moreover, they give us valuable inputs which we can use in our games. This gives us hope that we will definitely do well in South Africa. The team is also getting guidance from the senior players as well as their coaches, which will help us in the long run,” added the captain.

On Junior World Cup producing future Indian stars

The Junior Hockey World Cup has a history of producing players who became future stars for their nation. Players like Vandana Katariya, Rani Rampal among many others got noticed because of their performances on the junior stage. Infact, Vandana and Rani were instrumental figures for India in their 2013 exploits at the Junior World Cup. The Indian team picked up the bronze medal that year.

“This tournament will surely give us players to count on in the near future. There are already three players in the squad who have played for the senior team. The rest who are not that experienced will have a crucial learning curve in these fixtures. For juniors, we do not have many mega tournaments, so this is one such opportunity for them to show their skills. They will be able prove their worth as players,” concluded Salima Tete.

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