Responsibility and togetherness, the mantra for the Indian Women's Team, says football captain Ashalata Devi

by IANS |

Kochi, Dec 16 (IANS) With just five weeks left for the AFC Women's Asian Cup India 2022 to kick start, Indian Women's Football Team captain Ashalata Devi said that the team is trying to iron out the rough edges with the intensive training in the camp here.

"It's not easy maintaining focus ahead of such a big tournament, but I've found that it's the little things that tend to help you with that. If one keeps herself busy with the nitty-gritty of the daily routines, and makes sure that they do everything that they need to do in the day, things fall in place eventually," said Ashalata.

"It may be something as simple as sorting out if we have got back our correct laundry, to keeping a count of the footballs before and after training," she stated.

"In the larger scheme of things, it's about taking responsibility. We all talk about this being a very young squad, and it's great to have all the 19-20-year-olds. They bring great energy into the team. But at the same time, everyone needs to realise that they are not kids anymore," explained Ashalata.

"They are in the senior team for a reason, being responsible off the pitch builds that mentality of doing the same on the pitch as well, and that's the mentality that we all must have, going into the Asian Cup," she said.

The responsibility that the team has been developing, has also stemmed from the support that they have been receiving from all quarters. From the state governments of Jharkhand and Kerala, the fans, the coaches and even those former teammates who could not make the squad, the support for the Indian Women's Team has been immense.

"We just have five weeks left for the Asian Cup now. It's all about perfecting our game now. We played a practice match yesterday, but it was also mostly against those players who have been with us, in and around the National Team fold," said winger Dangmei Grace, who had recently scored a goal against Venezuela in the team's last official match.

"We may have been playing against each other in the practice game, but the overall feeling is one of togetherness - we are all in this together, to take women's football forward together. They all want us to do well in the Asian Cup," she said.

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