Maymol Rocky: Frequent assignments helping women’s football team keep fit

India is ready to take on “a very good team” in Vietnam next month, says the head coach.

Maymol Rocky...“We now have camps almost every month now, and that is something that helps the players keep up their fitness.”   -  Biswaranjan Rout

The Indian women’s football team has been able to keep itself fit all year round by participating frequently in international competitions, believes head coach Maymol Rocky.

The team has assembled here for a training camp ahead of two FIFA international friendlies against Vietnam next month. Speaking to the media on the first day of the camp, Rocky said: “We are playing tournaments or international matches at frequent intervals. We now have camps almost every month now, and that is something that helps the players keep up their fitness.”

The team has had a busy schedule this year. The Hero Gold Cup, the SAFF Championship, the AFC Olympic Qualifiers Round 2 in Myanmar, an exposure tour of Turkey, the COTIF Cup in Spain, and two international friendlies against Uzbekistan constitute the list of completed assignments of the team this year.

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Commenting on the quality of the opposition, Rocky said: “Vietnam are a very good team, and playing tough opposition like them is crucial for the development of our side. They have recently beaten Thailand, which is a World Cup team, so they definitely have quality.”

‘Prepared for the challenge’

But Rocky stated that her charges were up for the fight. “It’s clear the women’s team and women’s football in India is growing. The girls are getting better, and the future definitely looks brighter for them. We are prepared for the challenge, and we’ll give it our best in the two matches against them.”

Women’s football in India is on an upward swing, Rocky pointed out. “A lot of tournaments are coming up. Before, if you see the NFC champions, it was mostly restricted to states like Manipur or West Bengal. Now other states are also growing in women’s football. I’m happy that the women in our country are getting the chances now,” she said.

The FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in India next year will provide another fillip to women’s football in the country, believes Rocky. “I am very happy that we are hosting the World Cup. By the time the World Cup comes, the awareness about women’s football will grow exponentially,” she said.

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