More needs to be done for women’s football in Kerala: Coach Aravind

Kerala's Coach Amrutha Aravind stressed on grass-root programmes and forming of departmental teams after the state was eliminated from the National Senior Women’s Football Championship.

Amrutha has had an opportunity to witness the growth of Tamil Nadu as a power in Indian women’s football from close quarters. She was the coach when Sethu FC won the Indian Women’s League in 2018-19.   -  K. RAGESH

Kerala’s campaign came to an early end at the National Senior Women’s Football Championship. The host went out of the competition at the league stage itself.

That wasn’t much of a surprise, though, for the women’s game isn’t exactly thriving in the State, albeit it has a strong tradition in men’s football.

Kerala’s coach Amrutha Aravind believes much has to be done if women’s football has to move forward in the State.

"We have to focus on the grass-root level to begin with and we also need to form a departmental team (of the State government),” she told Sportstar on Monday. “If a department like the Kerala Police could form a team, it would be a huge boost for the game.”

She said Kerala also needed more female coaches. “You require good coaches at the grass-root level,” she said. “The decision to start an Under-14 academy for girls at Kochi is a positive development, though.”

She thinks the revamped State women’s league is another step in the right direction. “There is a lot of potential in Kerala,” she said.

“Now we have to learn from States like Tamil Nadu, which has come a long way due to hard work. In my days with the Kerala team, we used to score big wins against the likes of Mizoram and Tamil Nadu.”

ALSO READ | National senior women’s c'ship: Supriya hat-trick takes Railways to semis

Amrutha has had an opportunity to witness the growth of Tamil Nadu as a power in Indian women’s football from close quarters. She was the coach when Sethu FC won the Indian Women’s League in 2018-19.

“Sethu and the various academies in Tamil Nadu have played big roles in making the State a force to reckon with in the women's game,” she said. “I was expecting Tamil Nadu to do much better here.”

Tamil Nadu was knocked out by Odisha in the quarterfinals on Sunday. “Odisha is another State where women’s football is taken seriously,” she said.

“Yes, our team should have done better in this tournament, but the loss to Mizoram in the first match proved costly for us. We were handicapped by the injury to T. Nikhila in that game.”

For more updates, follow Sportstar on :