The Women’s Big 4

Written by Coach David Viner after the Hangzhou Asian Games 2022

Four of the most illustrious athletes to grace the Singapore Women’s Hockey Team shared the field for their final game together at the Asian Games in 2023, culminating in an astounding total of 349 international caps among them. These four remarkable players are CHUA Xinni with 123 caps, TAN Laura with 116, HO Puay Ling with 101, and TOH Li Min with 99.

In 2019, Chua marked her 100th appearance for Singapore during a tournament held in Ireland, a significant milestone that underlined her dedication to the team. However, due to the prolonged COVID-induced hiatus, Laura had to wait nearly three more years before reaching her 100th cap during the Asian Games Qualifiers. Subsequently, Puay Ling’s turn arrived, with her reaching the coveted 100th international cap in the fourth match of the recent 2023 Asian Games, against Malaysia. Completing this formidable quartet, Limin concluded her equally extraordinary international career, falling just one cap short of the 100-mark with 99 appearances.

This assembly of such seasoned talent is a rare phenomenon in Singapore hockey, a testament to the wealth of experience and effort that these players have contributed to the team for so long. The younger members of the team have been privileged with a unique opportunity to glean invaluable knowledge and skill from each of these exceptional individuals. Their legacy will undoubtedly continue to inspire and shape the future of Singapore Women’s Hockey.

In contrast to the numerous internationally ranked teams that participate in a multitude of matches every year, these four remarkable players have displayed unwavering dedication over an extended period to reach the extraordinary heights they have attained. At no point have any of these individuals sought anything less than the standard expectations placed on every player for selection in every Tournament or Test Series. Their conduct, both on and off the pitch, has been nothing short of exemplary, with each of them having, at some point, led the team as its national captain. Each player has brought to the table a unique set of skills and attributes that have firmly etched their names into the annals of the Singapore Women’s Hockey team’s history.

19th Asian Games – Hockey – Women’s Preliminary Pool A – SGP v KOR – Gongshu Canal Sports Park Stadium, Hangzhou. China – September 25, 2023 Singapore’s women’s hockey players in action. Sport Singapore/ Bryan Foo

Xinni regarded as an unassuming achiever, is a midfielder renowned for her precision and unique passing abilities that continually astound our younger players. Her impeccable timing and visionary playmaking consistently find their mark. Laura, another clever midfielder, possesses an uncanny ability to navigate through tight situations against some of the most formidable opponents to setup creative plays for her teammates. In reverse situations her defensive skills are also first class when opponents attempt similar moves against her. Puay Ling uses her deceptive turn of speed and elite endurance to catch opponents off guard regularly. Not only can she deftly maneuver around adversaries with sublime elimination skills, but even at speed she can still maintain control of the ball to set up opportunities for the team.

Limin has stood as a stalwart of the defense, consistently and tirelessly offering both that crucial last-line defensive tackle and the ability to intercept and initiate numerous counterattacks to put the team on the offensive again. Her comprehensive range of quality individual skills is matched only by her deep tactical knowledge. She has not only scored vital goals in crucial games but has also thwarted numerous opponents from doing the same. These four very competitive players have for many years possessed an innate ability to find solutions precisely when the team needs them most. They are undeniably legends, not only within our team but also in the storied history of Singapore Women’s Hockey.

Both Xinni and Limin have now decided to retire as international players and will be missed both as players and teammates. We wish them well in their future careers.