The 20-year-old forward also spoke about the development of hockey in the North East region.

The Indian women’s hockey team forward Lalremsiami has been one of the go-to players in the national side in the last few years. She has competed in 64 matches for India and has played a crucial role in many important victories of the Indian team which include the FIH Women’s Series Finals and FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers last year.

However, the forward expressed that the Asia Cup in 2017 was the turning point of her career. “The Asia Cup 2017 was one among the first international competitions for me and therefore it was very important for me to perform in the tournament. My confidence and belief in my game increased after playing well in the competition. We qualified for the 2018 World Cup after winning that tournament as well, so the Asia Cup 2017 will always remain special for me,” said Lalremsiami.

The national team captain Rani Rampal has had a huge influence on Lalremsiami. When the youngster joined the Indian team for the first time in 2017, she didn’t know how to speak in Hindi. Rani, who was her roommate taught her Hindi and was always there to help the player from Mizoram with her game.

She remarked, “I used to watch Rani di and other senior players on TV before joining the Indian team. Therefore, it’s just brilliant to be playing alongside a player like Rani. She is my favourite player and I hope to become a player like her someday. She has always been there for me. Whenever I have any issue with my game, I have always asked Rani di and she taught me Hindi as well when I had joined the Indian team for the first time. I hope to play alongside Rani for a long time.”

Lalremsiami, who learned the basic techniques of hockey at the Mizoram government-run hockey academy in Thenzawl, expressed that she is delighted to see the growth of the sport in the North East.

The forward said, “Hockey has certainly grown in the North East in the last few years. We have Sushila Chanu in our team, who has featured in over 150 games for India. Kothajit Singh Khadangbam, Nilakanta Sharma and Chinglensana Singh Kangujam have also played many matches for the Indian men’s hockey team.”

“I am sure if we keep performing for our teams, the youngsters in the North East will be inspired to take up the sport and hockey will grow even further in the region,” she concluded.