Modern Football is evolving at a rapid pace with the skillset required by each player to thrive at the top widening day-by-day. Apart from being in supreme physical shape, players are needed to play in multiple positions and have a strong football IQ.
The Indian Senior Women’s National Team, currently in Nepal for the SAFF Women’s Championship, is younger than it has ever been. The average age of the team is 21.4 years, and according to Head Coach Maymol Rocky, it can go a long way in the near future. “There is a real wave of optimism about this team,” she told AIFF Media.
“In the last three months since we have been together, I have seen the team take some massive strides. I believe these players can become the best we have ever seen in this Country. I feel they can guide us move much higher in the World rankings,” she said.
LEARNING AND ABSORBING
The mood in the camp is positive among this crop of youngsters. “It’s not that it will take time with these players to try out different stuff. They are ready to do anything, always willing to learn,” Maymol certified.
Goalkeeper Aditi Chauhan, who at just 26 is the second-oldest member in the 20-member squad stated the receptive nature of the players is a “standout quality”.
“As a senior player, it’s good to have a group of young girls who want to learn from the experience and knowledge which we share with them. They’ve made it really easy for me, and other senior players!” she expressed.
PHYSICALLY AT THEIR BEST
With a youthful core at its centre, the team is physically robust, and can match up to any opposition. “This batch can play the 90 minutes without tiring, and if needed, even the extra 30,” she opined.
“Better speed, better reflexes, better stamina – that’s what we are stressing on. It allows us to defend with more numbers, and move the ball faster in attack,” Maymol explained.
A vital part of the setup, the two physiotherapists Priyanka Bodkhe and Shruti Nambiar said that having younger players in the team has other advantages as well, especially when it comes to injuries as well as capacity building.
“The injury history of these young girls are minimal. Henceforth, they respond comparatively faster to increasing training loads. Their recovery process is faster,” Priyanka maintained.
Shruti added: “Muscles adapt better to any stimulus presented during training. This is an advantage for young athletes. It eventually enables enhanced performance.”