Tuesday, 27 October 2020

Experienced midfielders will be crucial for India's success, says Nikki Pradhan

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  • ANI | 1 month ago
Bengaluru , September 22: Experience is an important factor for tournaments such as Olympics, Indian women's hockey team midfielder Nikki Pradhan said on Tuesday, adding that experienced midfielders will be the key to success in the forthcoming years.

Pradhan has been a part of the national squad which won accolades such as the gold medal win at the Women's Asia Cup 2017, victory at the FIH Women's Series Finals 2019, and booking a place at the Tokyo Olympics after defeating USA at the FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers last year.

"We are lucky to have so many midfielders in the Indian team who have already played 100 matches for the national squad. Experience is a huge factor when it comes to big tournaments like the Olympics and if we give our hundred percent, we can win against any team. Experience teaches one to be calm and think clearly under pressure and therefore our experienced midfielders group will be the key to our success in the forthcoming years," the 26-year-old midfielder was quoted as saying in an Hockey India release.

Pradhan, who became the first woman hockey player from Jharkhand to represent India in the Olympics in 2016, recalled her alma mater where it all began from.

"The time I spent at the Bariatu Girls' Hockey Centre, Ranchi will always remain special to me. I picked up the sport quite early on, but I learned most of the techniques at the hockey centre in Ranchi when I joined in 2005. The place laid a good foundation for me and I kept building on those skills as I advanced in my career," she said.

She also spoke fondly about her experience at the quadrennial event.

"It was fantastic to participate in the Rio Olympics. Just being around the top international athletes was something else. The Indian Women's Hockey Team made it to the Olympics after 36 years so it was a huge moment for us. However, it was disappointing to return without a victory. But it didn't deter us from trying harder and Hockey India has shown tremendous faith in us throughout," Pradhan said.

The midfielder expressed gratitude towards Hockey India for the "tremendous backing" and constructing the "best pitches for practice and international matches". "When we have a tremendous backing of our own federation, then it inspires us to perform every time we step on the field," she concluded.

Experienced midfielders will be crucial for India's success, says Nikki Pradhan

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