Himachal Pradesh outfoxed Jharkhand to clinch the junior girls' National Football Championship trophy on Wednesday. Making the triumph sweeter is the fact that seven members of the title-winning side have been shortlisted for the India girls U-17 national team training camp to be held in Goa from May 4.
The players who will report in Goa on May 2 will look to further impress the coaches and seal their spots in the Indian team for the upcoming 2020 FIFA Women's U-17 World Cup to be held in India.
Senior women's team coach Maymol Rocky, assistant coach Chaoba Devi, and U-19 women's team coach Alex Ambrose attended the games held here over the last 11 days and shortlisted a total of 34 players and 13 reserves from across 13 States. Teams from 27 States participated in this edition of the junior girls' National Football Championship. Keeping in mind the World Cup, the organisers aided the shortlisting process by reducing the age cut-off for the tournament to make it an U-16 event, as opposed to the U-17 format last year.
Of the shortlisted candidates, seven players belong to Manipur and seven others belong to Himachal. Six members of the runner-up Jharkhand team, including tournament top-scorer Sumati Kumari, have been selected. Last year's winner Tamil Nadu has one representative in striker Mariyammal.
Defender Vaishnavi Chandrakant from Maharashtra was the only player scouted from a trial.
While the camp is set to begin this week, the structure and duration remain uncertain. Sources privy to the development have indicated that it could be a month-long camp in Goa and will serve as an ice-breaking session between the players and help them get to know each other.
Sportstar can confirm that another junior girls' National Football Championship will be held in the first week of June, with Cuttack as the likely venue, to further scout talent and include them in the camp. The players who have now been shortlisted will not be allowed to participate in that tourney.
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