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Team India has right balance of youth, experience: Hockey midfielder Lilima Minz


Bengaluru, June 10 (MNN) Indian women’s hockey team midfielder Lilima Minz believes the Olympic core group preparing mode for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics has the right balance between experienced and young players.

She said while experienced players were crucial direction to give the team in difficult situations, young players are equally important to add an energetic dynamic to the side, according to Hockey India.

“In the national camp for the Olympic core group right now, there is a very healthy mix of experienced players who have played many internationals for India, as well as young players who have the hunger and drive to prove themselves at the highest level.

“This kind of balance allows the young players to get the guidance of senior members who know what it is like to play at the Olympic level. At the same time, these young players keep the senior members on their toes as they know that there is someone who can replace them if do not perform well,” said the 27-year-old midfielder.

Reflecting on the similarities between the national camp and the team that went to the Rio Olympics in 2016, Lilima said that it is helpful to have a core group of players who have experience of playing in the Olympics.

“The fact that several players from the 2016 Olympics squad are present here in this camp is a good thing because sometimes players can get overwhelmed at a grand occasion like the Olympics. This is where players who have been there before can offer their much needed advice. Moreover, since our core group of players has played together for several years, we have a good understanding and communication on the field of how we want to play.”

“There are a lot of new and young players in this camp who have brought a fresh approach and good healthy competition to the team.

“There is good competition for places in the final squad and I have to work hard and prove my worth for my inclusion if I want to make it there.

“That is what keeps me motivated to keep performing, as it is every player’s dream to play the Olympics, and I know that all our players are all doing the same,” Lilima said.

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