India: Star-studded Hockey Jharkhand powers into Quarters

~With Simdega stars Salima Tete, Sangita Kumari, Beauty Dungdung and Nikki Pradhan in the ranks, Hockey Jharkhand is aiming for a podium finish~ 

Pune, 19th March, 2024: Powering their home team into the Quarter-Finals of the prestigious 14th Hockey India Senior Women National Championship, being played at Major Dhyanchand Hockey Stadium Pimpri, Pune, Salima Tete, Sangita Kumari, Beauty Dungdung and Nikki Pradhan are living up to the billing. Hockey Jharkhand secured their spot in the knockout rounds of the tournament by finishing on top of Pool C. This pool also featured Uttar Pradesh Hockey, which boasts Indian stars like Vandana Katariya and Mumtaz Khan, representing their respective home teams in this unique domestic event that has drawn full attendance from Indian team players.

Salima Tete, a mercurial attacking midfielder in the Indian side, expressed confidence in the team’s upcoming Quarter-Final encounter against Hockey Mizoram on Wednesday. She also hailed the state’s grassroots programme that has empowered the aspiring players with the right training and facilities. “There has been a lot of change over the past few years. Earlier, the players used to play on the grass but now they play on astroturf. We are also getting a lot of support from the Jharkhand Government as well. There are a lot of players coming out of these programs. It is amazing to see their potential and the skills they possess. We are also getting constant support and motivation from Hockey India President Dr. Dilip Tirkey and Secretary General Shri. Bhola Nath. The talent identification program and grassroots development initiatives have helped in bringing up new talent”

Salima also expressed her thoughts on how the young players have this golden opportunity to learn from the experienced players in their team. “All these young players have this chance to spend time with the experienced players, interact with them, and learn where all they can improve their game. We are always there to help them, and support them. We have seen their game and all these players have the talent to don the Indian jersey in coming years,” she added.

Meanwhile, Sangita Kumari, who plays as a forward, also echoed the same thoughts on the grassroots development program in Jharkhand. She said, “I have seen a lot of change over the past few years in how these programs are beneficial to identify new talent. The kind of training these young players get will help them hone their skills. Many girls have started playing hockey in Jharkhand not just as a passion but to make a career out of it. I feel that these programs are heading in the right direction and I hope that several players from the state get a chance to play for the Senior National Team in coming years.”

Apart from the current Indian team stars in the Jharkhand side, the other names to watch out for from this team is Deepika Soreng, Dipti Toppo, Mahima Tete, Nikki Kullu, Rajni Kerketta, who have all done well for themselves in the tournament.

Hockey Jharkhand qualified for the Quarter-Finals of the 14th Hockey India Senior Women National Championship after they beat Hockey Andhra Pradesh 13-0 and in their second game, they played out a draw with Uttar Pradesh Hockey. 

All the matches will be live-streamed on FanCode.

By Hockey India

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