Travelling to Uzbekistan well in advance in order to train ahead of the two upcoming friendlies will be beneficial for the Indian women’s team, says head coach Maymol Rocky.
The Indian team is set to play two friendlies - against host Uzbekistan on Monday and Belarus on April 8 - on its visit to the Central Asian nation. On the eve of the match against Uzbekistan, Maymol told AIFF : “I am very thankful that we were able to come here early and train in Uzbekistan. The weather here is extremely cold. There is a big difference from the one we experienced while training in Goa, but the girls are going all-out for it. We are doing both morning and evening sessions and take the maximum advantage.”
India has faced Uzbekistan recently (in two matches in 2019), but neither team is the same and the experience will be different, believes Rocky. “We have played Uzbekistan before. I am sure their team has changed since then. Our team certainly has. I am sure it won't be an easy match for either. Looking forward to it.”
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She feels playing against such a quality opponent will help her side prepare for the AFC Women's Asian Cup India 2022.
“Playing more matches will definitely help the team grow together. I think the girls will need more and more matches. So I think staying together, playing more matches will help us play better games in 2022,” she said.
Rocky has named two different captains for the overseas tours to Turkey (earlier this year when it faced Serbia, Russia and Ukraine) and Uzbekistan. She believes that handing such responsibility to different players will help grow their leadership qualities, which will aid the team in the longer run.
“In my opinion, everybody on the field should be a captain and a leader. I have been trying to build the team for AFC 2022. We need to have everyone taking the charge and responsibility for that. The team is quite young, so everybody gets the chance to take the responsibility,” she said.
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