Indian U19 Girls Eagerly Anticipate SAFF U19 Women’s Championship Opener Against Bhutan

Indian U19 girls, under Coach Sukla Dutta’s guidance, eagerly prepare for their SAFF U19 Women’s Championship opener against Bhutan, fueled by aspirations of lifting the trophy.

In the enchanting atmosphere of Dhaka, the U19 girls from India completed their inaugural training session, brimming with anticipation for their clash with Bhutan in the SAFF U19 Women’s Championship scheduled for Friday.

As the golden hour bathed Dhaka in its hues, emotions soared high, and excitement rippled through the squad, fueled by a collective belief in their dreams. Head coach Sukla Dutta shares in their aspirations, dreaming of clinching the trophy for the country in this year’s championship.

“Winning the SAFF is my top priority now, coupled with delivering commendable performances. The tournament provides us with the extra motivation needed for our upcoming challenges and aids in our preparation,” emphasized Coach Sukla, expressing her ambitions for the team.

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Reflecting on the initial training session, Sukla highlighted the emphasis on adapting to the unique artificial grass of the ground in Dhaka. “The first session went well, we familiarized ourselves with the ground. The artificial grass here is different from Goa. I wanted the girls to connect with the ball. The emphasis was placed on touch, passing, and measuring ball speed. Receiving the ball was also crucial,” she shared.

Recalling the previous edition of the SAFF U19 Championship in 2021, where India faced a tough final against Bangladesh, Sukla acknowledged the history but urged the team to focus on the present. “This is a new tournament, a new challenge, and we must forget the past. All the teams are strong and play good football, but I aim to secure victory and get the trophy back to my country,” she asserted.

When asked about the team’s strengths, Coach Sukla highlighted unity, effective communication among players, and a robust defense and midfield. She expressed confidence in their ability to perform at their best, especially with a focus on ball possession.

Captain Nitu Linda, named skipper for the tournament, conveyed optimism about their preparedness. “We prepared well for nearly a month. Now it’s time to perform tomorrow. The coaches have left the right instructions for us, and we are ready to give our hundred percent on the pitch,” said Nitu.

Expressing pride in being named the captain, Nitu affirmed her commitment to leading the team with integrity. “I am really happy that the coach has shown trust in me to lead the team. I will not let her or the team down,” she vowed.

As the Indian U19 girls gear up for their opening match against Bhutan, a blend of excitement, determination, and pride sets the stage for a captivating SAFF U19 Women’s Championship.

-IANS

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