With just over two weeks away from the AFC Asian Women’s Cup, the Indian women’s football team has spared no time in New Year’s celebrations, however, a brief ceremony in traditional dress was held. organized between two training sessions to keep morale up in the Indian Camp.
With the players all dressing in their respective traditional outfits, there have also been a few calls for head coach Thomas Dennerby to dress in traditional Indian clothing.
The coach, with his inimitable smile, lightly recalled the goals ahead: “You can make me wear whatever you want, once we qualify for the World Cup.”
“We have to take a little time and enjoy the normal things in life, but with the Asian Cup so close, it can’t be for long,” said winger Dangmei Grace. “Everyone is determined to do the Asian Cup well, and whatever we do in our free time to rest our spirits, the focus is always on the New Year.”
At the Indian camp, you can see an array of determined faces, whether on the training ground, in the gyms, or during video analysis sessions with the whole team. The general feeling is that the whole team is looking to take women’s football forward together in 2022.
Defender Ritu Rani said: “It’s not just this team and the others that we are fighting for. We are fighting for a better future for women’s football. We have taken a lot of steps in the right direction over the last few years, but the Asian Cup is a tournament where we could take giant leaps if we play to our true potential. “
India, hosts of the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup India, have been placed in Group A, where they will face IR Iran (January 20), Chinese Taipei (January 23) and China. (January 26). With 12 teams competing in the group stage, eight of them will advance to the quarter-finals and, depending on other results, could move closer to qualifying for the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia 2023.
“Who doesn’t dream of playing a World Cup? All footballers in our country would have dreamed of it, “said Ritu.
“The U-17 boys in 2017 had that privilege, and a few U-16 sets were also close to qualifying, but the general feeling among all of us is that we have a good chance of getting a touching distance from that. “
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