The Indian women’s team is set to kick-off its preparations for the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup with three international friendlies in Alanya, Turkey, where in the first of these three matches, India square-off against Serbia on Wednesday.
Coached by Maymol Rocky, the team has had a two-month training camp in Goa, before setting sail for Turkey, where midfielder Sangita Basfore will be leading the side.
The Head Coach believes that the two months in the camp has given the coaching staff a good opportunity to assess the players.
“We’ve had a good couple of months of camp in Goa, where we have had the opportunity to assess all the girls,” Maymol told the-aiff.com
However, after a year marred by the COVID-19 Pandemic, the players are all raring to go, and the prospect of returning to International football is something that has induced excitement amongst everyone.
“Serbia is a strong side, and we will have to be at our best to get the desired result against them. All my players are really excited to be playing international football once again. They are all pumped ahead of this game,” stated Maymol.
Defender Ashalata Devi echoed these emotions, expressing how happy she is, to be back donning the blue jersey once again.
“I am very happy that the team is once again preparing for International football. It’s an altogether different feeling, really, to represent your country, and anticipation is running high in the camp. Everyone is really excited,” said Ashalata.
After the game against Serbia, the Indian women’s team is set to face Russia (February 19) and Ukraine (February 23). Ashalata feels that facing such strong European sides will “act as a good preparation for the AFC Women’s Asian Cup, the preparation for which has already begun.”
“Serbia is an equipped side. It will be good to test ourselves against them in our first match. These matches are extremely important for us. We are preparing for the AFC Asian Cup India 2022 and such matches will make us stronger and confident. Serbia is a quality side and it will be good to play against teams of a certain level,” she stated.