Striker Preeti Dubey is gearing up to lead an 18-member Indian junior women’s hockey team announced for the upcoming Under-23 Six Nations tournament. The event will be held in Belgium, from July 14-21 Hockey India announced on Monday.

Defender Salima Tete will back Dubey as the vice-captain and the other teammates include goalkeepers Bichu Devi Kharibam and Khushboo. The other defenders filling up the squad are Neelu Dadiya, Gagandeep Kaur, Priyanka, Suman Devi Thoudam and Ishika Chaudhary.

The Indian women’s team is scheduled to play five-round matches against Ireland, Great Britain, Belgium, Canada and the Netherlands.

“The Indian Junior women’s team will face a stern test in the U23 Six Nations Tournament in Belgium as they play against some of the stronger teams from around the world,” stated David John, Director, High Performance, Hockey India, TOI reported.

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“These players will get a much-needed exposure and this challenge will help us in forming a wider Core Group of players for the women’s team. It is a crucial juncture in the careers of these players as some of them will take part in their first major international tournament and will play a part in building a successful team for the future,” he added.

The young stellar Preethi Dubey was also a part of the Indian Women’s Hockey team in the 2016 Summer Olympics. A resident of Gorakhpur, she was discovered by MP Women’s Hockey Academy coach Paramjeet Singh. After which she shifted to Madhya Pradesh in 2014.

India will start their campaign on July 14 against Ireland. Karishma Yadav, Mahima Choudhary, Jyoti, Mariana Kujur and Manpreet Kaur, Leelavathy Mallamada Jaya, Mumtaz Khan, Sangita Kumari and Lalrindki are also in the squad.

The final is scheduled on July 21.

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All the best, girls!

Feature Image Credit: suryaa

Also Read: Why India Doesn’t Deserve Rani Rampal

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