NEW DELHI: Senior Indian Women’s National Team Head Coach Maymol Rocky believes that it is now time for her side to "take the next step" up the Asian Football ladder, after their good showing in the Olympic Qualifiers last season.
She said, “Now, it’s time for us, as a team, to take things forward from here. We missed out in Round 2 of the Olympic Qualifiers by a whisker, but I feel that our next objective should definitely be the AFC Qualifiers. Qualification for the Asian Championship will be a big step for this team, and that is something that we all need to prepare ourselves for.”
The Indian Women’s National Team had created history last year, progressing to the AFC Olympic Qualifiers for the first time in the side’s history. They further went on to put out a brilliant performance in the second round of the Olympic Qualifiers, only falling behind home side Myanmar on goal difference.
With the team departing for Spain on Saturday (July 20, 2019) to play in the COTIF Cup, the India Head Coach believes that her team is now much better suited to face the tough teams that the tournament has to offer.
“We played the COTIF Cup last year as well, but I think we are more prepared this time around. The players have really improved over this last year, and we saw that in the AFC Olympic Qualifiers Round 1 and Round 2,” she stated.
The team has had a three-week-long training camp at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi and Rocky believes that the "new training techniques" that she and the coaching staff have implemented over the course of the camp have put the team in good stead.
“It’s been a very fruitful few weeks at the camp, where we have implemented some new training techniques. The results are really paying off, as I’ve seen a number of the player make good improvements over this period,” Rocky said.
The camp also saw the introduction of a number of new faces, many of whom had impressed the Head Coach with their performances in the Hero Indian Women’s League, earlier this year. While Rocky believes that these players still have a long road ahead of them, proper work can get them to the levels where they may get the desired results for the Tricolour.
“We brought a number of new faces to the camp, and they have been adjusting to the different training techniques and schedules really well. Of course, they all have a long way to go to reach the levels we are aiming for, but there’s nothing that hard work and dedication can’t achieve,” Rocky concluded.
The fixtures for the tournament are below:
August 1, 2019: India vs Guinea
August 3, 2019: India vs Bolivia
August 4, 2019: Mauritiana vs India
August 5, 2019: Spain vs India
August 8, 2019: Final
Goalkeepers: Linthoingambi Devi, Aditi Chauhan, Sowmiya Narayansamy
Defenders: Sweety Devi, Jabamani Tudu, Ashalata Devi, Michel Castanha, Pakpi Devi
Midfielders: Sangita Basfore, Sanju Yadav, Ratanbala Devi, Manisha, Ritu Rani, Grace Lalrampari, Ranjana Chanu
Forwards: Anushka Samuel, Dangmei Grace, Anju Tamang, Bala Devi, Renu, Roja Devi, Daya Devi