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Indian Women's League (IWL)

IWL: Group B debutants hope to start on winning note

CRPF FC, Lords FA, Odisha FC, and Celtic Queens FC are all debutants in the Group B of the Indian Women's League 2023.

IWL: Group B debutants hope to start on winning note

Lords FA won the Kerala Women's League to enter the IWL. (Source: Lords FA/Twitter)


The Bridge Desk

Published: 26 April 2023 3:27 PM GMT

Central Reserve Police Force FC (CRPF) will mark their debut in the sixth edition of the Hero Indian Women’s League (HIWL) when they face Odisha FC in a Group B match Thursday, April 27, 2023. The match is set to kick off at 4.30 PM IST at the TransStadia Stadium and will be streamed live on Indian Football’s YouTube channel.

The team from Jalandhar, Punjab, CRPF finished third in the All India Police Football tournament held in Kashmir and are coached by Uttam Singh Negi. He said: “Our team is a mixture of young and experienced players. We had good preparations and since we are playing the Hero IWL for the first time, we feel motivated and excited.”

On the other hand, Odisha FC, who too are making their debut in the Hero IWL. They won the Odisha Women’s League last year. The team is coached by last year's runners-up Sethu FC head coach Crispin Chhetri.

Speaking ahead of the game, he said, “As a coach, I am extremely proud to lead the Odisha FC women's team in their debut season of the Indian Women's League. The girls have been working hard and showing great commitment during the training sessions, and I am confident that we are ready to compete at this level.”

Chhetri wants his players to have the best experience during the league and said, “Our main target in this tournament is to gain valuable experience and learn from our opponents while showcasing the talents and abilities of our players. We aim to play our best game and give tough competition to our opponents in every match.”

Lords FA vs Celtic Queens FC

In another Group B match, two debutants will face each other at the Shahibaug Police Stadium at 8 AM IST. The team from the football-loving city of Kochi, Kerala, Lords FA have qualified for this season of Hero IWL by winning their state league beating Gokulam Kerala in the final.

Speaking about his team’s preparation, Lords FA Head Coach Nirvan Shah said, “The team preparations are ongoing and we had a preparatory camp in Mumbai for all the players. The players are fit and talented and we’re happy to have the support of two international players as well.”

Eastern Sporting vs Kickstart FC

Kickstart, the team who finished third last season, will lock horns against former IWL Champions (2017) Eastern Sporting Union at the TransStadia stadium in Ahmedabad. The match will kick off at 8 AM IST.

The Eastern Sporting FC gaffer Ronibala Devi sounded calm and confident ahead of their first game of the season and said, “We have been preparing for the last three months and working hard. The team is a mix of young and energetic players and experienced players and we will give all our best efforts to get into the finals.”

Kickstart FC head coach Chaoba Devi said, "We have an amazing squad with a mixture of young and experienced players, we are very focused and mentally strong. We will take one match at a time and go all out against Eastern Sporting. Last year we finished third and this year we are targeting to be a champion of this prestigious tournament."

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