New Delhi, Jun 15 : With a year to go for the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup to hit the Indian shores, All India Football Federation (AIFF) is set to send the U-17 Women’s squad to Hong Kong to play four matches as a part of their preparation for the big tournament.
The India U-17 side is still a project that is under construction and has been training at a camp in Goa for the last few weeks. Although the side has played a number of matches against local teams, Head Coach Alex Ambrose believes that the four matches in Hong Kong will give his girls ample opportunities to test themselves against tough opponents; the team leaves for Hong Kong on Sunday, June 16.
“The matches in Hong Kong will serve as a good experience for these kids. Almost 40 per cent of them are new to the national team set-up, and are still getting used to things,” said Ambrose. “Playing competitive teams will help acclimatise them to the top levels of football.”
He further went on to state that matches like these will help test the character of the players. “It will also help us coaches identify the players who have a strong mentality and tend to take the right decisions even when they are under pressure.”
However, Ambrose maintained that the key objective of the players and the coaching staff remains to prepare the team for the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup next year.“Learning never stops, and that applies to everyone. My players have shown their interest, character and the dedication required to be a part of such a big tournament, and the future looks good if they keep working hard,” he said.
“The most important thing right now is to understand how to get ready for the U-17 World Cup. The focus is always for the next year,” Ambrose rounded off.India's play schedules in Hong Kong
21st June: India vs Hong Kong U23
23rd June: India vs Taipo TBC
27th June: India vs Citizen
29th June: India vs Hong Kong U18
Goalkeepers: Tanu, Manisha, Manju.
Defenders: Nirmala Devi Phanjoubam, Kritina Devi Thounaojam, Nisha, Naketa, Shilky Devi Hemam, Martina Thokchom.
Midfielders: Daisy Castro, Priyanka Devi Naorem, Astam Orain, Anju, Priyanka Sujeesh Pottekkat, Poonam, Aveka Singh, Mariyammal Balamurgan, Karen Estrocio, Kiran, Antrika.
Forwards: Sumati Kumari, Lynda Kom Serto, Amisha Baxla, Sai Sanke. (UNI)