By Soumo Ghosh,
AIFF Media Team
JAMSHEDPUR: The members of the Indian Women’s Team echoed their thanks to the Jharkhand Government for hosting them in the city of Jamshedpur, as they set on a five-month-long preparation for the upcoming AFC Women’s Asian Cup.
The continental tournament is set to be hosted by India in January and February next year, with the Senior Women’s Team training in Jamshedpur, Jharkhand, under new head coach Thomas Dennerby. Speaking from the camp, the Indian Women’s team players expressed their gratitude to the state of Jharkhand for being the gracious hosts.
“I’d really like to thank the Jharkhand Government for hosting our team here. The hospitality that everyone has shown to the team here has been amazing, and the facilities that we have been given are also brilliant in Jamshedpur,” captain Ashalata Devi said to the-aiff.com. “This may be the first time that a National Team is camping in Jharkhand, but it doesn’t feel that way. Everyone already knows what the requirements are for us to train and prepare for the AFC Women’s Asian Cup.”
The centreback also hoped that more local players will come through from the state, on seeing the Women’s Team hard at work in Jamshedpur.
“Everyone in Jamshedpur is excited about us training in the city. I hope this inspires more young kids to take up the sport in this state,” she stated.
Dangmei Grace, who has become one of the mainstays in the team over the years, was in complete awe of the way the team was welcomed, once they reached the team hotel in Jamshedpur, Jharkhand.
“Wherever we go for a camp, we get a warm welcome, but it was absolutely something else in Jamshedpur. This was our first camp here, and when we arrived and got off our bus, they had come with so many huge drums to welcome us. It was just amazing,” recalled Grace. “When I got off the bus and saw them beating those huge drums, I was stunned. It was an extremely unique experience for us.”
The team also has two local players in the form of Astam Oraon and Sumati Kumari, who are from the state. The duo has come through the ranks, first having impressed in the India U-17 Women’s Team, before being called up to the senior camp.
“I am actually doubly happy here. On a personal level, this is the first time that I have been called up for a camp with the senior team. And on top of that, it’s in my home state, Jharkhand. I can’t express how proud I feel of this,” said Astam.
Sumati stressed on the importance of all the facilities being available in a moment’s notice, in order for the team to utilise them and prepare for the AFC Women’s Asian Cup.
“I’d like to say a big thank you to the Jharkhand Government, because all the facilities from the hotel, to the ground, are excellent, and we can carry on training without any hiccups,” she said.