The U-17 Women’s Football Tournament 2019 begins in Mumbai on Friday, December 13 as India, coached by former Sweden and Nigeria senior national team coach Thomas Dennerby, square off against Sweden and Thailand at the Mumbai Football Arena.
The pre-tournament press conference took place on Thursday, attended by the head coach along with defender Shilky Devi, who spoke about the impact the new coach has made in the team.
“It’s really good to get this opportunity and we’re looking forward to the tournament. We have been training for three weeks under the new coach and learning and getting better every day,” she said.
The tournament opens on Friday with India playing Sweden and will then face Thailand on Tuesday, December 17 with the top two teams to clash in the final, two days later. Both teams are a force to reckon with in women’s football, with their senior teams both playing in this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019 in France.
The 14-year-old, who led the Indian team to victory at the SAFF U-15 Championship in Bhutan earlier this year, also talked about how the team is gearing up to face two top-quality opponents.
“Sweden and Thailand are both very strong teams. The matches against them will be tough but we have worked very hard as a group and are prepared to play them. It’s a great opportunity for us to test ourselves and I would like to thank the All India Football Federation for giving us this chance,” she said.
The match between India U-17 and Sweden U-17 is slated to kick off at 6pm IST. The matches in the tournament will be streamed live on Facebook on the Indian Football Team page.