Kuala Lumpur [Malaysia]: New coach, new chant! “Discipline” stays the key word under head coach Maymol Rocky as the Indian women’s football team gear up to take on Malaysia in the international friendly on Monday at the MP Selayang Stadium.
“We have introduced fines in this camp. Whenever someone commits any wrong, she is fined,” Maymol, the first ever Indian woman coach in charge of the senior women’s team informs.
“Imparting discipline within the squad stayed a priority. Unless you get the pinch, you never learn. The girls don’t mind it as they understand “it’s for a cause.”
Defender Dalima Chhibber, former captain Indian U-19 women’s team smiles. “It unites us. The team bonding becomes better. It makes you more disciplined. It’s fun, but at the same time, it pinches your pocket. It’s up to us to avoid the fines,” she says in one breath.
Keeping in tune with not taking things lightly off the field, Maymol wants the same kind of a smooth transition when the girls play on Monday.
“We won’t be taking them lightly. They are a strong side. Once you are complacent, you will pay the price,” you had to agree with Maymol. “They are playing at home. It’s a big stadium. It’s advantage Malaysia.”
Maymol’s squad has been a conglomeration of exuberant youth and experience.
“Around 10 players have come up the ranks through the age groups. The average age of the side has gone down considerably. Barring around three, all the rest are below 25,” she informs.
As the cars zip past you on the KL Highway, the relaxed bunch of “disciplined” girls, most of whom are from small towns, gaze at the lighted skyscrapers from the window panes of the Team Bus.
“We wanted to take their minds off the game a bit. Hence, we took them to the Petronas twin towers. You also need to relax a bit,” Maymol, flipping through her snazzy mobile utters.
Jabamani Tudu, still a teenager, but already a part of the Indian national team, like all others, couldn’t stop admiring the might of the twin towers.
“We need to repay Maymol-Maam. Despite the hectic practice schedule, she was kind enough to allow us to visit the towers.”
“Payback time,” that’s the buzz word at the camp now. The new chant under the new coach needs a perfect take-off.
At the official press conference, Maymol wasn’t much willing to read into the FIFA Rankings. ”Not that we are a weak team, but I never go into FIFA Rankings. We are aware of the development made by Malaysia. But we are confident as a team,” she said.
Pointing at captain Bala Devi, sitting next, Maymol further stated: ”She has a habit of scoring goals in almost every match.”
‘Will you score tomorrow?’
”It’s not about who scores as long as we score. We have specific roles assigned to us and we need to execute it to perfection,” the India skipper opined. (ANI)