India U-15 Women’s team head coach Alex Ambrose believes that sticking to the basics will help his side perform well at the SAFF U-15 Women’s Championship 2019, where India are set to take on Nepal in the opener on Wednesday, October 9 at the Chalimithang Stadium, Thimphu in Bhutan.
Despite the fact that India are the defending champions, having defeated Bangladesh 1-0 in the final last year, Ambrose believes that the pressure to perform is not on his team. Rather, they are here to “play good football”.
“Expectations are always there, but we are here to play good football. There is absolutely no pressure on the players. We just want them to perform well, enjoy their football and have a good tournament,” Ambrose said. “We have been training in Goa for four months. We’ve had some practice matches, and it was a good training for us.”
Having trained for four months in Goa, the India U-15 Women’s team has also spent a week in Thimphu, Bhutan as a part of the acclimatisation process for the SAFF Championship.
“It’s important for us to get acclimatised to high altitudes. We certainly want to do well and the federation is supporting us so that we can live up to a certain expectation. Our main objective is to stick to the basics and play a certain brand of football where we keep the ball on the ground and pass it around,” said Ambrose.
The gaffer further went on to praise the Indian authorities for extending all the help to the team improve ahead of big tournaments.
“The AIFF understands the importance of women’s football development in India. And I believe that they are making sure that they are trying their best to support the coaches with whatever they need, in order to help bring around that development,” quipped Ambrose.
However, the head coach is not taking any of the teams lightly and believes in taking it one match at a time.
“Everyone is here to win the matches and the tournament, so we cannot really take any of the teams lightly. We are here to play our brand of football and we are last year’s champions. But it’s a new tournament, we have a new team and that is why we need to forget about the past results and keep pushing forward,” he rounded off.
Along with India and Nepal, hosts Bhutan and Bangladesh make up the four participating teams – with each side facing one another once and the top two teams qualifying for the final, which will take place on October 15.
India’s opener against Nepal kicks off tomorrow at 2.30pm IST. The matches will be streamed live on Mycujoo.tv.