Lockdown days: Sharmila Devi wants to make a difference to Team India once hockey resumes

The 18-year-old forward from Hisar, who made her international debut last August in the Olympic Test event in Tokyo, said she had tried to pick the brains of seniors like skipper Rani and Vandana Katariya during her stint in the national team.

“I feel I’ve been really fortunate to have been playing under such a good chief coach in Sjoerd Marijne, along with such experienced players like Rani and Vandana Katariya. There’s so much for me to learn, and I want to make sure I am doing everything right to develop as a decent player for my country.

“I am hoping that we will be able to play hockey again soon, and I am really looking forward to making a difference for my team once that happens and we start playing the top teams,” said Sharmila.

The youngster said it was always her dream to represent the country at the highest level. “Life has really been going on at a very fast pace for me in the past one year, but I couldn’t have asked for more.

“For me, it was something I had only dreamt of, to be able to play and train with the best players from our country. When I was in the junior team set up, I would just watch them train during national camps,” Sharmila said.

Sharmila said the FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers 2019 against USA has been her favourite moment so far. “It was definitely a huge moment for me, to have represented the country at such a huge tournament. We were looking to secure our berth in the Tokyo Olympics and were playing against such a strong opposition, so it felt really good to have done well, and helped the team in achieving the goal,” she said.

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