Maymol Rocky: Playing so many games helped us improve as a team

The 11 matches India has played since January helped it prepare in the best possible fashion for the SAFF Women’s Championship, said the head coach, ahead of the team’s opening game on Wednesday.

The 11 international matches that the Indian women’s national team has played this year helped it prepare in the best possible fashion for the South Asian Football Federation Women’s Championship, said head coach Maymol Rocky, a day ahead of its opening game on Wednesday.

“The exposure tours helped us to improve on our strengths, while at the same time giving us much needed competitive match timing to work on our shortcomings,” said Rocky.

Since January, India has played friendly matches in Hong Kong and Indonesia, the Turkish Women’s Cup as well as the Hero Gold Cup in Bhubaneswar. The preparation was planned keeping in mind the Asian Football Confederation women’s qualifiers round 2 in April as well as the SAFF Championship.

“Training and competing together for such an extended period of time will naturally help the team gel as a unit, and also help the players improve their skills at an individual level. We are a young team, and playing so many matches significantly harnesses their true potential,” the head coach said.

India takes on the Maldives in Group B at the Sahid Rangsala in Biratnagar, Nepal, at 2.45pm on Wednesday. The last time the Indian women played Maldives was in the group stage of the 2016 South Asian Games in Shillong, the match ending in a goalless draw.

Incidentally, the Indian women have been unbeaten in 19 matches in the last four editions of the SAFF Championship, winning the title on every occasion.

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