The Indian women's football team has arrived in Mumbai to compete in the AFC Women's Asian Cup 2022. After their huge feature in Brazil, the team had returned and been training in Kochi, Kerala for more than a month.
In a conversation with the AIFF, head coach Thomas Dennerby had said that once the team lands in Mumbai they will purely be focusing on the Asian Cup.
"We had a small meet with the players and we explained to them how important the coming few weeks are in their lives. I think this has really struck a few chords, and you can now see the determination in their eyes," said Dennerby to the AIFF.
The Blue Tigresses squad for the Women's Asian Cup is very young, as there are 15 players under the age of 25 years. The four youngest members of the squad include - Shilky Hemam, Priyangka Devi, Sumati Kumari, and Mariyammal Balamurugan, who have come in from the U-19 squad.
Indian winger Sumati said that the bonding and togetherness between the players have increased over the past six months. The experienced players are helping the youngsters to improve in various aspects of their game.
"I think we have all grown together as a squad. We had started with our camp in Jharkhand, and also played a number of matches abroad against some tough opponents, before moving base to Kerala. We've all been training with one goal in mind, and the entire squad is now focused on the job ahead. We have had a lot of help from the more experienced players, who have shown us the way in a lot of things, especially in various off-the-field aspects that could later help us," she said to the AIFF.
The Indian team head starts their campaign at D Y Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai, where they will be up against IR Iran on January 20.
The AFC Women's Asian Cup 2022 is going to be held across three venues in India - Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Pune. The tournament will also act as the final stage of qualification for the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. All the matches will be broadcast live on Eurosport and Jio TV in India.