Indian women's squad ready for tougher challenges, says Chaoba Devi on eve of Myanmar tour

by IANS |

Kolkata, July 6 (IANS) Head Coach Chaoba Devi announced a 23-member squad, who will travel to Myanmar for the two FIFA-friendly matches. The Blue Tigresses will play against hosts Myanmar on July 9 and 12, respectively.

“My team is a mix of senior and junior players. I am satisfied with the combination of the squad. After playing Uzbekistan last month, we started our National camp within the next 10 days. All the players are fit, which is a good sign. They didn't want to relax, they were undergoing intense training at their respective clubs,” said coach Devi.

The Blue Tigresses were last seen in action during the tour of Uzbekistan for two friendly matches against the hosts on May 31 and June 4. They lost one match and drew the second one. Coach Chaoba is aware of the areas that needed more work and said, “As a coach, after Turkey and Uzbekistan, we were facing problems in defending aerial balls. We were trying to improve in this area in the camp.

“We trained at the National Centre of Excellence in Kolkata for two weeks and played two practice matches. Those matches proved to be good. We also used young players in the starting eleven. They gave their full efforts and fought to keep their positions. There are healthy competitions among the players to be in the starting XI. We need some youngsters who can run and face difficult situations, like Mousumi Murmur and Aruna Bag. I am happy they have improved a lot in a short time,” the coach said

“We played with Uzbekistan last month which was also a higher-ranked team. Playing against higher ranked teams benefits our players as they can have intense matches and get ready to play in big tournaments. In the first match, we lost badly. All of us found it unacceptable. The girls gave their hundred per cent, and we drew the second match. The girls have the potential, and we are trying to get the best out of them,” she said.

India are currently 67th in the FIFA Rankings, while Myanmar are 54th. The Indian women’s team played five matches between February to May.

India will naturally benefit from playing two higher-ranked teams in two months, the coach said, “Ranking does matter. The federation is also trying to arrange for more exposure tours. If we play more such games, the team will improve. We need to play quality games.”

“A well laid out plan should be there. We need to inform the girls well in time to keep them prepared. There is a lot of activity going on around Indian women’s football, and we need future players. We have scouted talents from IWL and IWL 2. We coaches can get the best of the talents and select the best ones,” Chaoba added.

Th 23-member squad for Myanmar friendlies:

Goalkeepers: Shreya Hooda, Elangbam Panthoi Chanu, Maibam Linthoingambi Devi.

Defenders: Loitongbam Ashalata Devi,Hemam Shilky Devi, Sanju,Wangkhem Linthoingambi Devi, Aruna Bag.

Midfielders: Naorem Priyangka Devi, Sangita Basfore, Karthika Angamuthu, Neha, Nongmaithem Ratanbala Devi, Mousumi Murmu.

Forwards: Kajol Hubert Dsouza, Anju Tamang, Soumya Guguloth, Sandhiya Ranganathan, Karishma Purushottam Shirvoikar, Lynda Kom Serto, Pyari Xaxa, Jyoti, Rimpa Haldar.

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