Ludhiana, May 4: Manisha, 17-year-old youngster from Punjab who was recently included in the national team will be the new inspiration for building up women’s football.
Manisha was recently included in the national team fold by Head Coach Maymol Rocky, after having shown her mettle with the India U-19 side in the AFC U-19 Women’s Championship qualifiers last year."Manisha is one of our own, from Hoshiarpur. It’s because of her performances with the junior and senior national teams that she has now got a contract with a club like Gokulam Kerala FC," said Punjab Football Association general secretary Harjinder.
The PFA General Secretary hopes that Manisha, with more eye-catching performances in the Hero IWL, can inspire the next crop of girls to take up football as a sport. "The young girls here in Punjab will get to see Manisha play after a long time. Hopefully, she can motivate them to go on and do great things in the game," he continued.
However, Harjinder stressed on the importance of improving the quality of coaching within the state, especially that in women’s football. "We have conducted a few coaching courses– D-License in Amritsar and C-License in Roorkee. We have also tried to educate and upgrade the existing coaches of the team," said Harjinder.
Apart from coaching, the Punjab Football Association is also making the effort to develop women’s football across all the three age categories senior, junior and sub-junior. "We are making our full effort to ensure that women’s football progresses in our state. We already have women’s teams across all the three age categories in the National Football Championships. Our senior team even made to the quarterfinals last time around," he explained.
The Hero IWL is set to see as many as 12 teams square-off against each other. These 12 teams are divided into two groups of six teams each. FC Alakhpura and Hans Women FC are set to kick-start the tournament on Sunday with Rising Students Club playing Gokulam Kerala. (UNI)