Dennerby names 22-member Indian squad for SAFF U-18 Women's Championship

Indian women's football team head coach Thomas Dennerby said the 22 players selected for the tournament "pose a bright future for women's football" in the country.

Thomas Dennerby

Thomas Dennerby's side will open its campaign against Nepal on March 15, followed by games against Bangladesh (March 19), Nepal (March 21) and Bangladesh again (March 25).   -  AIFF Media

Indian women's football team head coach Thomas Dennerby named a 22-member squad for the SAFF U-18 Women's Championship football tournament to be held in Jamshedpur from March 15 to 25, on Saturday.

Dennerby said the girls selected for the tournament "pose a bright future for women's football" in the country. "We have a lot of good players in the squad, and these girls pose a really bright future for women's football in India," he said.

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The 62-year-old coach, who had previously guided the senior national women's team, feels these youngsters have a strong football base which is key to achieving success in the sport.

"The great thing about them is that they have been properly educated about football from a very young age. The key now is to keep on with that. They need to keep training properly on a regular basis," said Dennerby, who guided the Swedish women's team to the quarterfinal of the Olympics, and Nigeria to the FIFA Women's World Cup in 2019.

"I have seen many players who are supremely talented at the age of 15-16, but then they disappear later on. And many who have some average talent go on to be top players in the world. So it’s important to practice hard in an organised manner, no matter how much talent one has," he added.

Dennerby said a tournament like the SAFF will give the girls experience of playing under pressure in a competitive atmosphere.

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"Although this is not tDhe fully finalised World Cup squad yet, the SAFF tournament will be crucial for the girls here. Normally, if we are playing friendlies, we do not much care about the results, the focus is more on the progress we have made as a team in different areas of the pitch.

"But a tournament is a tournament, and the results are important. There will be little pressure on the players, but it will be good to play under such pressure," he added.

India will open its campaign against Nepal on March 15, followed by games against Bangladesh (March 19), Nepal (March 21) and Bangladesh again (March 25).

Goalkeepers: Hempriya Seram, Melody Chanu Keisham, Adrija Sarkhel.

Defenders: Astam Oraon, Nisha, Ritu Devi, Purnima Kumari, Naketa, Kajal, Varshika.

Midfielders: Shilky Devi Hemam, Poonam, Subhangi Singh, Priyanka Sujeesh, Martina Thokchom, Babina Devi, Nitu Linda.

Forwards: Naita Kumari, Rejiya Devi, Amisha Baxla, Sunita Munda, Lynda Kom Serto

 

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