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Times of India: HWL round 2: Marijne era begins with Uruguay test (4/1/2017)
Times of India: HWL round 2: Marijne era begins with Uruguay test

By Manuja Veerappa

BENGALURU: A little over a month after taking over the reins of the Indian senior women's hockey team, Sjoerd Marijne will face his first big test at the Women's Hockey World League Round 2 that gets under way in Vancouver on Saturday. First up for the Marijne-coached side will be Uruguay on the opening day.

The Dutchman, who worked with his wards at the National camp in Bhopal, said he took up the assignment with an open mind. "I was open-minded for this challenge. Their skill-sets are good and that gave me a feeling that they will improve their game. The players have potential but we have to work hard to make progress," said the former national coach of the Dutch women's team.

Since the previous Indian coach, Neil Hawgood, was an Australian, there is a vast difference in the style of hockey played and coached by people from Down Under. But Marijne dismissed the question of adaptability of the players to a new style of hockey as a non-issue, saying the team will develop its own style of hockey.

"I don't want to follow the European style but create our own style. We want to play fast hockey from a good defensive structure where the players can use their creativity at the right moment. We must not forget where the team comes from but in modern hockey we have to implement a few new things to use our potential to the maximum," said Marijne, whose contract will run up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The coach also revealed that as a team, they have set themselves small targets to achieve higher goals.

"We are focusing on small team targets and everybody in the team has to focus on her task. If we can do that well, we will be successful.

"Small targets will lead to achieving higher goals."

With the event being the first major outing for the Rani-led side after the Rio Olympics, Marijne believes the team is well-prepared. "I am happy with this preparation because the first couple of weeks they did a lot of physical (training) and we will take benefits of that. In the last few weeks we played a lot of high intensity hockey. It was exactly the way I like to play," he said.

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