In a highly unprecedented move, the I-League outfit Dempo Sports Club appointed a woman as its new Technical Head on Tuesday. Anju Turambekar became the first-ever woman in Asia to be appointed as the Technical Director of a men’s football club.
Anju is an AFC A License holder and has previously headed the All India Football Federation’s (AIFF) Grassroots Development Division. The 31-year-old also has experience of leading the FIFA Under-17 World Cup Legacy Project as a Technical Head under her belt.
“We welcome Anju Turambekar as the Technical Director of our Youth Development Program at Dempo Sports Club. Our club will be the first in Asia to have a woman as Technical Head of a men's football club,” read a tweet.
Anju, who came in the place of the Late Katz Naidoo, has a big task lying ahead of her. Her immediate tasks will be turning the set up at Dempo Football Academy into a production line in order to supply Asia’s ever-increasing demand for world-class talent.
“She comes to the club with a wealth of experience in Grassroots Development with All India Football Federation and Asian Football Confederation and we believe that she will transfer the same to develop and utilize our academy to the fullest as we seek to fulfill our vision for football in India,” the Club Chairman, Shrinivas Dempo told IANS.
Equally excited was Anju, as she avered, “I am excited to come to Goa, to face this huge challenge. It was during my interaction with Mr. Dempo that I realised his vision for football is not just about having a club that wins titles or grassroots development that produces players but his desire to help develop an ecosystem around football in India. This is a challenge, I decided to be part of.”
Later, she added, “The philosophy of Dempo is not just to win but to contribute to the greater vision of football in India and I am happy that I am being offered the opportunity to fill in the gaps. For me, it is going to be an exciting new challenge.” She is expected to formally take charge of the office on Monday.