Proud of Rani’s team: Marijne

Hands-on mentoring: Manpreet Singh, left, and S.K. Uthappa are all eyes as Sjoerd Marijne shows them how it is done.  

Sjoerd Marijne may now be in charge of the Indian men’s team but he cannot hide his joy when discussing the women’s side. It was not two months ago that Marijne was in charge of the women’s team on its tour of Europe.

As it now basks in the glory of its Asia Cup triumph, the 43-year-old is a rather pleased man. “I’m really proud of the team,” he said here on Tuesday.

“I left them only a month ago (sic). I’m really happy for them. It gives them a lot of confidence for the future. I didn’t get to see anything because it was not on TV or the internet, but it’s nice how Rani leads the team.”

Marijne was full of praise for drag-flicker Gurjit Singh, who scored eight goals in Japan. “She and Deep Grace worked individually [with Dutch drag-flick coach Toon Siepman] when we toured the Netherlands. He (Siepman) is one of the best. She benefited a lot from that.

“Another thing that helped her is changing the stick; that also makes her drag flick harder. It’s been a process from a long time. I’m really happy because she puts a lot of time into it,” he said. Marijne has enjoyed success of his own since his change of role, having presided over victory in the men’s Asia Cup in Bangladesh last month.

His next assignment, though, will be considerably tougher, with India grouped alongside Australia, Germany and England in next month’s HWL Final in Bhubaneswar.

“[In the Asia Cup] we played against teams ranked 12, 13... but it’s also really difficult to play a tournament as the highest-ranked team because you have to win,” he said. “It brings another kind of pressure. It’s nice to see how they handled it. But now we play against the highest ranked teams. We have to see where we stand in the world.”

India deployed Sardar Singh as a sweeper and captain Manpreet Singh said he was pleased with it. “The coach decided that Sardar would drop back. He’s an experienced player who can control the ball; he has the ability to play long passes. If the other teams press us, Harmanpreet (Singh) or Sardar can play a controlled ball out. He’s leading the whole team because he can observe the whole play from the back. He’s calling [the moves],” Manpreet said.

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Printable version | Mar 8, 2021 12:38:46 PM |

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