Indian women's football team head coach Maymol Rocky wants her players to "develop an attitude" towards the game similar to American forward Megan Rapinoe, who won the Golden Boot and the Golden Ball at the 2019 World Cup.
Recalling her meeting with Rapinoe during the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup in France, Rocky said: "I had a small chat with Megan. Her attitude was simply amazing. She is one of the best players in the game. But she is not arrogant or egoistic at all. But she had all the attitude around her. She has put in all the hard work to get to where she is today. I tell my players that we should also have that same kind of attitude. She's an absolute role model for young girls out there," Rocky told the All India Football Federation (AIFF) in a video chat.
Talking about the World Cup, the 40-year-old former international said: "I had gone there with my mentor as a part of the FIFA programme. Watching the matches, I was just thinking about how it would feel had our team been out there on the pitch." "It would have been unforgettable. It's going to be just that for the U-17 girls next year. I'll, of course, be there to cheer them from the stands," she added.
Rocky, the first women's head coach, said she is "really looking forward to the U17 WWC." "India is in the world map now for the U-17 World Cup. Everyone is looking at us. I am waiting to be at the stadium -- maybe as the scout, but mostly to cheer for the girls when they go out. Surely, we'll get some players for the Asian Cup 2022. When the base becomes stronger, scouting becomes tougher. We'll get more players for every position."
Rocky is also a leading scouts for women's football in India, having picked up the likes of Sweety Devi, Sandhiya Ranganathan and Manisha Kalyan. "AIFF has a wide scouting system in place. That helps a lot in terms of finding players from different areas. But I also like to do myself for which I prefer -- be it U-17 tournaments, Khelo India, National or State Championships," she said. "I make it a point for all National Team players and aspirants to be part of the Hero IWL. Not only do they play against National Team players, but the youngsters get to test themselves against the seniors," she added.