A 21-member strong Indian U-17 national women’s squad was named on Wednesday for the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2022, scheduled to be held in Bhubaneshwar, Margao (Goa) and Navi Mumbai from October 11-30.
Hosts India have been drawn in Group A alongside USA, Morocco and Brazil. They will face USA on October 11, followed by Morocco and Brazil on October 14 and October 17, respectively, at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar.
Head coach Thomas Dennerby has gone with three goalkeepers, six defenders, four midfielders and eight strikers as India compete at their first FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup.
“It’s a new situation for everyone. India have never played the World Cup before. This is a different ball game altogether. It’s a unique chance to show everyone that we have prepared well and will not allow anyone to run over us. Everyone wants to play the World Cup, but I can only select the best 21 in the squad,” Dennerby said in an AIFF release.
The Swedish head coach admitted that India may not be favourites for the title but that will also allow the team to play with more freedom on the pitch.
“When you are on the field, everything is held back behind and you just have to focus on the game. That’s what the girls need to do. We are not going into the tournament as the favourites. I believe the pressure then is on the opponents,” he said.
Pointing out the importance of performing well on the pitch, Dennerby said, “The performance is key for us. And I hope the girls are not too nervous and will play with confidence. You can’t be nervous and perform at the same time. It’s time to get the ball rolling.”
Goalkeepers: Monalisha Devi Moirangthem, Melody Chanu Keisham, Anjali Munda
Defenders: Astam Oraon, Kajal, Naketa, Purnima Kumari, Varshika, Shilky Devi Hemam
Midfielders: Babina Devi Lisham, Nitu Linda, Shailja, Shubhangi Singh