Indian women’s football team head coach Maymol Rocky believes that travelling to Uzbekistan well in advance, in order to train ahead of the two friendlies will be beneficial for the team.
The Indian women’s football team is set to play two friendlies — against hosts Uzbekistan (April 5) and Belarus (April 8), on their visit to the Central Asian nation. Both matches kick-off at 4.30 PM IST, on the respective dates.
On the eve of the match against Uzbekistan, Maymol said, “I’m very thankful that we were able to come here early and train in Uzbekistan. The weather here is extremely cold. There’s a big difference from the one we experienced while training in Goa. But the girls are going all-out for it. We are doing both morning and evening sessions and take the maximum advantage.”
India has already faced Uzbekistan a couple of times previously in 2019, and though they were tough encounters, the India head coach believes that things may be different this time, as both the teams have changed somewhat.
“We have played Uzbekistan before. I’m sure their team has changed since then. Our team certainly has. I’m sure it won’t be an easy match for either. Looking forward to it,” said Maymol.
However, she feels that playing against such quality opponents will help the side prepare for the long term goal, i.e. getting ready for the AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022.
“Playing more matches will definitely help the team grow together. I think the girls will need more and more matches,” said Maymol. “So I think staying together, playing more matches will help us play better games in 2022.”
The India head coach has named two different captains for the overseas tours to Turkey (earlier this year when they faced Serbia, Russia and Ukraine) and Uzbekistan. She believes that handing such responsibility to different players will help grow their leadership qualities, which will aid the team in the longer run.
“In my opinion, everybody on the field should be a captain and a leader. I’ve been trying to build the team for AFC 2022,” she said. “We need to have everyone taking the charge and responsibility for that. The team is quite young, so everybody gets the chance to take the responsibility.”