Domestic Hockey Spotlight
Hockey Haryana are feeling on top of the world after retaining the 12th Hockey India Junior Women National Championship held at in Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh. In a repeat of the 2021 edition final, Hockey Haryana outclassed Hockey Jharkhand 3-0 in the summit clash. Unlike the final clash of the 2021 edition that was hard-fought when Haryana nudged out Jharkhand 3-2, this time around the Haryana girls did not have to exert much and scored once in the first half and twice in the second half to emerge champions.
This is the sixth time that Hockey Haryana have won the Junior Women’s National crown. “We felt that the Jharkhand side was not so formidable like the one we encountered last year in Simdega. We won pretty comprehensively because we were the better side by some distance,” says Haryana Junior women’s hockey team coach Azad Singh Malik in a chat with Hockey Passion.
Malik shares his perspectives on how junior women’s hockey order could change in the future. “I see Hockey Association of Odisha as a strong contender for the future even as I saw a performance dip from Jharkhand. We really had to dig deep to beat them 2-1 in the semifinals – we scored the winner six minutes from the final hooter,” he says.
Hockey Haryana had eased past Hockey Karnataka 6-2 in the quarterfinals. Pitted in Pool A, the Haryana junior girls brushed aside Goans Hockey 20-0 and Hockey Madhya Pradesh 9-0. They scored a whopping 41 goals in five games in the tournament.