Maymol Rocky: U-17 Women’s World Cup ‘vital in rearing next generation’ of players

The head coach of the women’s team believes the Women’s U-17 World Cup in 2020 will bring the entire nation together.

Maymol Rocky: "The whole country will come together for football (during the U-17 World Cup) and young children and parents will be motivated to get more involved in the sport." Photo: AIFF Media

The Indian women’s football team became a fitter, sharpened unit in the four months of non-stop football and head coach Maymol Rocky says the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, which will be held in India next year, is a good platform for the girls to build upon the progress.

“It’s an opportunity to play at the highest level for the young players and being a part of it all will be an experience they will enjoy and remember forever. I have always been one to place my faith in the abilities of youngsters and this tournament will be vital in rearing the next generation,” Maymol told AIFF.

Rocky feels the World Cup will bring the entire nation together. She said, “We have seen what happened in 2017 during the [men’s] U-17 World Cup. The whole country will come together for football and young children and parents will be motivated to get more involved in the sport.”

Currently in Kolhapur for the Hero Junior Girls’ National Football Championship (NFC), Rocky is among multiple scouts responsible for identifying potential talents for the upcoming World Cup. She is impressed by what she has seen so far.

Read | Himachal Pradesh, Odisha enter quarterfinals

She said, “I have been with age-group national teams for a number of years and I can say that these girls (at the Junior Girls’ NFC) are better. The current generation has improved a lot — for example, many players have shown that they are apt at using both feet. The coach will have a lot to work upon but there have certainly been a lot of positive signs.”

Commenting on a memorable run by the senior women’s team that culminated earlier this month, Rocky said, “I found it difficult when the team first got together in December but we worked extremely hard to get on track. To their credit, the girls were open and disciplined, and never gave any problems off the field. On the field — we got the team together, stronger, fitter and more confident. The players slowly started believing in themselves and in the end, we stuck to our guns and played our hearts out.”