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'Strong Bench to enhance Team’s flexibility' (4/5/2015)
--Press Release
New Delhi, 05 April 2015: After a successful campaign in the recently concluded Hero Hockey World League Round 2 in New Delhi, goalkeeper Rajani Etimarpu is all geared-up for the upcoming Hawke’s Bay Cup 2015 in New Zealand, which will start from 11th April. Apart from the experienced goalkeeper Savita, Rajani also plays an important role in the team’s planning and team combinations at the ongoing preparatory camp at MDC National Stadium in New Delhi. She and Savita are the key players for the team’s defence strategies as both the custodians chalk-out their plans and shared their valuable inputs to keep the home D - zone unshakable.

The 24-year-old Rajani has played 33 international matches and her presence in the 18-member squad shows the strong bench-strength of the Indian national women team. The Hawke’s Bay Cup will provide the Andhra Pradesh-girl a strong platform to improve her skills and experience before the prestigious FINTRO Hockey World League Semi-Final Round (Women) in Belgium, to be held in June/July this year.

Speaking on the tournament, Rajani Etimarpu said, “We are working very hard as a whole team and making the 18-member squad a strong team. Here each player is important and with new rules & regulations for substitution, all the players must be at the same level. Strong bench strength is very important for a balanced team as Coaches have various options and players can be rotated during the matches. We are practicing hard as a single unit and keeping same strategies in our minds. I and Savita share a good rapport between us and always play a key role in the team’s defence strategies. The Hawke’s Bay Cup will be a crucial tournament for us as the best teams are participating there. The tournament will give us valuable experience before the FINTRO Hockey World League Semi-Final Round. We are looking forward to the tournament."

The preparatory camp, which commenced on 22nd March and will conclude on 7th April with the players practicing hard on their game as the tournament plays an important platform to gain experience before the FINTRO Hockey World League Semi-Final Round (Women), Belgium this year.

The Hawke’s Bay will be played from 11 April 2015 – 19 April 2015 and eight teams will be seen fighting it out for the title. India will play their first match against China at 6.00 AM IST on 11 April 2015.

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