In their first outing following the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown, the Indian Women’s Football team will be travelling to Turkey this week to play in three friendlies.
Here are a few pointers:
- Indumathi Kathiresan makes a return to the national team after nearly two years. The Police Department, Tamil Nadu, has finally given the go-ahead for the midfielder to represent club and country.
- Kritina Devi Thounaojam and Sumati Kumari – players who were part of the squad for the 2020 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup (postponed to 2022) have made it to the senior squad.
- The Indian team (FIFA Ranking: 53) will face-off against Serbia (Feb. 17, FIFA Ranking 40), Russia (Feb. 19, FIFA Ranking 23) and Ukraine (Feb. 23, FIFA Ranking 24). The host nation Turkey is unable to participate at this time.
- Goalkeepers Panthoi Chanu and Aditi Chauhan are injured and haven’t been selected.
The Senior Indian Women’s are all set for their first outing after the COVID Pandemic lockdown as they are travelling to Alanya, Turkey to play three International Friendlies.
The Women’s face Serbia on February 17 followed by a match against Russia on February 19, and Ukraine on February 23. The team has been undergoing preparation in Goa for the last two months.
Head Coach Maymol Rocky echoed the excitement of the squad as they are all set to return to International football after months of lockdown.
“We have a very young and talented squad at our disposal. This will be a good experience for the girls as we prepare for challenges ahead. The matches in Turkey will give us a good barometer on where our players stand in terms of being match-fit,” Rocky said to AIFF Media.
“This may be our first tournament in a long time. The girls are eager to prove themselves. We will be playing against European teams. It will not be easy, playing against them. But we are ready for the challenge.”
“Playing against string European teams will help us prepare for the Asian Cup. These experiences will be vital for the girls in these two years,” she maintained.
Maymol further added that the preparatory camp has helped everyone to get back into physical shape, while making them mentally stronger at the same time.
“The two months in the camp allowed the girls to get back into shape both physically and mentally for International football,” said Rocky.
February 17: India vs Serbia
February 19: India vs Russia
February 23: India vs Ukraine
GOALKEEPERS: Maibam Linthoingambi Devi (Manipur), Sowmiya Narayanasamy (Tamil Nadu).
DEFENDERS: Loitongbam Ashalata Devi (Manipur), Ngangbam Sweety Devi (Manipur), Ritu Rani (Haryana), Sorokhaibam Ranjana Chanu (Manipur), Wangkhem Linthoingambi Devi (Manipur), Kritina Devi Thounaojam (Manipur).
MIDFIELDERS: Manisha (Punjab), Sangita Basfore (Odisha/West Bengal), Sumithra Kamaraj (Tamil Nadu), Pyari Xaxa (Odisha).
FORWARDS: Anju Tamang (Sikkim/Odisha), Indumathi Kathiresan (Tamil Nadu), Soumya Guguloth (Telangana), Dangmei Grace (Manipur), Karishma Purushottam Shirvoikar (Goa), Sandhiya Ranganathan (Tamil Nadu), Heigrujjam Daya Devi (Manipur), Sumati Kumari (Jharkhand).