- Indian women’s football team to play Brazil in the upcoming International tournament for the first time.
- Sweety Devi, Defender of the Indian women’s football team maintains that mental will along with an understanding of tactics and teamwork will garner success.
- India is set to face Brazil, Chile and Venezuela as a part of the preparation for the AFC Women’s Asia Cup.
Indian women’s football team will face prior world cup runner up, Brazil later this month in a preparatory international tournament for next year’s AFC Asian cup. India ranked 57th in the FIFA chart and is all set to take on Chile (37th) and Venezuela (56th) in a schedule of tournaments from 25th November to 1st December.
The tournaments will be hosted in Manaus, Brazil. And India will challenge Brazil on Nov. 25. Indian defender Sweety Devi urges the team to be mentally strong and play as a unit against the aforementioned powerful opponents.
Sweety acknowledged the fact it won’t be easy playing the World No. 7 and Olympic silver medalists, Brazil yet is determined to play hard and tactfully. “The team bonding is quite high and we will play together,” she added.
The one thing that popped up in her head when she was questioned about playing in Brazil was Marta. Captain of the Brazil women’s football team and six times World Player of the Year, Marta is regarded as one of the finest female footballers in the world.
This would be the first time that any Indian senior national team will be facing Brazil, Chile or Venezuela, said the All India Football Federation (AIFF). The Indian team has already had matches in Turkey, Uzbekistan, Bahrain, UAE and Sweden.
21-year old defender, Sweety believes that it would be immensely challenging to play Brazil’s Marta and the Indian team is drawing out a plan of action for the same. She also speculates on having a brief interaction with Marta post the game.
She went on to say that the team gained a lot of knowledge from all the exposure tours in UAE, Bahrain, Chinese Taipei and Sweden. The fact that there was a gradual increase in the intensity of the matches was appropriate, she added.
The Government of Jharkhand provided infrastructural and logistical aid to the team to set up a camp in Jamshedpur in the month of August. Coached by Thomas Dennerby, the team worked on different facets like strength, technique, endurance and tactics. The strength sessions are centred around gearing up the team to face dynamic opponents at AFC (Asian Cup).
Specialised trainers assist in maintaining fitness levels in the team. Also, all the girls encourage each other to perform the initially daunting drills. “If You lift 10kg today, then the rest of the team pushes you to lift 15kgs the next day, and then 20kgs the day after,” she said.
AIFF General Secretary, Kushal Das says that playing against regular World Cup teams like Brazil and Chile will foster exposure and help the team prepare for AFC Women’s Asia Cup.