Sjoerd Marijne

West Vancouver, March 30 (IANS) India’s chief coach Sjoerd Marijne has asserted that the side is bracing up for opening match against Uruguay at the Women’s Hockey World League (HWL) Round 2 here on April 1 as it has gotten used to the conditions.

On arriving from a different climatic condition in Bhopal, where the women’s squad trained since January 14, to seven degrees Celsius in West Vancouver which has seen a few spells of rain in the past week, the girls have acclimatised to the conditions here, according to the Dutch trainer.

“We had 10 days to acclimatise and get used to the weather. The difference is about 27 degrees. But the girls have gotten used to this and are ready for the start of the tournament,” stated Marijne in a Hockey India (HI) release on Thursday.

Due to the importance of the HWL Round 2 tournament, which serves as the qualifier for the 2018 FIH World Cup, India played warm-ups against Canada and Chile earlier this week.

“It is always good to get a few matches before the start of the tournament. Since this is a short tournament, every match we play is important and there is no reason why we cannot get off to a good start. I have a lot of confidence in the team and we are ready to make a winning start,” expressed the Dutchman.

Speaking about Uruguay as opponents, Marijne said they are a team that play with a lot of passion. “We have seen them play twice so we know a little bit about them. They typically play South American style like Argentina and there is a lot of passion in their game which helps them do well. But we must focus on our own game,” he stated.

Meanwhile, skipper Rani Rampal said the team is upbeat and eager to get on with the tournament.

“I believe we have had a good start to this year with a series win against Belarus. Though the results in the two matches we played here against Chile (drew 2-2) and Canada (lost 1-3) didn’t go in our favour, it helped us get used to the weather.

“We found it tough initially as it is cold and rained at times during the matches but the team has gotten used to it now. Coming here early has really helped and we are ready for a good match against Uruguay,” stated Rani.

    The IANS was founded by Indian American publisher Gopal Raju as the India Abroad News Service. It was later renamed the Indo-Asian News Service.

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