The All India Football Federation has advertised for the post of head coach for the Indian Under-17 women’s team. The federation hoping to attract a reputed female coach ahead of the 2020 Fifa Women’s U-17 World Cup that is to be held in India, according to a report in The Times of India.
The AIFF is hopeful of naming a coach with a minimum of eight years experience in professional football by next month. “We have kick-started the process [of hiring a coach] with the release of advertisements. I am sure we will get a worthy candidate,” Abhishek Yadav, National team director with AIFF, told the newspaper.
Apart from a foreign coach, the Indian federation is also eyeing fitness and goalkeeping coaches. As it stands, former India striker Alex Ambrose has been entrusted with the responsibility of managing the 35 probables in Goa.
“For the head coach’s position, a female coach is preferred. We believe it will be good to have a female as the coach, but if we find someone with a very good profile, we might choose him. The other two positions [fitness and goalkeeping] will depend on the applications we receive,” said Yadav
Chhibber's most recent memorable performance came at the 2019 South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Championship — which pits the international teams of the region against one another — where she scored a 40-yard free kick as part of India's 3-1 win over Nepal in the championship final. The 5'6" midfielder was named MVP of the tournament. Chhibber and India were also winners of the SAFF Championship in 2016.
"I am very excited to welcome Dalima to Canada, the U of M, and our Bisons women's soccer program," said Bisons head coach Vanessa Martinez Lagunas. "She is, to date, the most experienced international player that our program has had the honour to recruit. I anticipate that she will make a significant positive impact in terms of team performance and team culture both on and off the field.
She has become the face of women's soccer in her country and is a very fit, technical, tactically smart, and mentally strong player — someone who will help us to keep raising the standards and competitiveness of our program. She also excels in the classroom and will become a great leader and role model for our current and future Bisons players."
The New Delhi, India native will be pursuing graduate studies in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management in the area of Sports Psychology at the University of Manitoba.
"I chose the U of M because it has a great faculty with professors who have done some amazing research work," said Chhibber. "I have also read about the university online. The Bisons soccer team is one of the best university teams I have heard of and is managed by highly qualified coaches and staff.
It will be a very nice and important learning opportunity and experience for me, personally. I am super excited because I will be playing for a foreign team for the first time and with players from various other countries."
Chhibber joins a recruitment class that also includes Canadian talent in Stefanie Young, Alex Paul, Anna Biebrich, Rebecca Wilson-Abreu, Jessica Tsai, and Jane Morris, as well as Brazil native Bianca Cavalcanti and Mexico native Tabata Bravo. The Bisons women's soccer team is coming off a 6-5-3 season in Canada West play in 2018, where they qualified for the post-season, losing in the play-in round to UNBC (1-1; 1-3 in shootout).
In their quest to prepare for the AFC Women's Asian Cup 2022 qualifiers, All India Football Federation has arranged for two Friendly matches of the Indian Senior Women’s National Team against Uzbekistan. The Indian women who scripted a third-place finish in the recently concluded COTIF Cup 2019 will play at the Yakkasary Stadium, Tashkent on August 29 and September 2.
It was only last month that the Indian Senior Women's National Team moved up six spots in the FIFA Women's World Ranking to 57th place, courtesy a 66.7% winning record in their last 18 matches. Since then, the women have notched up a third-place finish in the COTIF Cup 2019 where they won against Bolivia, and Mauritania, while going down to Spain U-19, and Villarreral CF.
As the 29-member squad started training at the preparatory camp in New Delhi for the forthcoming series, Head Coach Maymol Rocky insisted “the exposure for the team has been unprecedented, and valuable.”
"Playing against so many International opponents does wonders. The players have more self-belief at the moment as they have now adept in playing against a variety of oppositions. It has improved the players, both on, and off the pitch,” Maymol added.
At the start of the year, the Indian eves played two away friendlies apiece against Hong Kong and Indonesia, which were followed by the inaugural Hero Gold Cup that took place in Bhubaneswar, where they took on Myanmar, Nepal and Iran. After that, they competed against Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Romania and Kazakhstan in the Turkish Women's Cup.
On the back of the generated momentum, they travelled to Nepal in March and successfully defended the SAFF Women's Championship title, defeating the hosts 3-1 in the final. They came inches closer to making it to the third round of the 2020 Olympic Qualifiers, defeating Indonesia and Nepal before playing out a thrilling 3-3 draw against hosts Myanmar as they bowed out on goal difference.
That was followed by the Hero Indian Women’s League in May in which 12 teams took part.
Maymol stated the scheduling has helped the National Team girls "gel" into a cohesive unit. "I need to thank AIFF and Sports Ministry for their continuous support towards women's football. The scheduling has allowed the players in the senior team to remain in top shape and gel together as a unit," she continued.
"Thanks to the IWL, the players got a great platform to showcase their game. We were able to identify a number of talents who have been now given chances in the national team fold."
The Head coach also billed the forthcoming double-header in Uzbekistan as a "good opportunity" to see where the team stands. "With the qualifiers for the AFC Women's Asian Cup 2022 coming up, the matches against Uzbekistan will be an important step in our preparation."
Maymol has summoned a list of 29 players for the ongoing camp in New Delhi. "After the COTIF Cup, the girls are raring to go. They look fresh. There are a few new players who have been called up. So we're looking forward to getting them to see how they perform," Maymol stated.
The list of 29 players summoned for the camp is as follows:
GOALKEEPERS: M. Linthoigambi Devi, Aditi Chauhan, Sowmiya Narayanasamy, Archana A, E. Panthoi Chanu
DEFENDERS: Ashalata Devi, Sweety Devi, Jabamani Tudu, Michel M. Castanha, Y. Papki Devi, Shruti Keramal, Samiksha, A. Komal Kumari
MIDFIELDERS: Sangita Basfore, Sanju Yadav, Indumathi Kathiresan, Ranjana Chanu, Manisha, Ritu Rani, Ratanbala Devi, Grace H. Lalrampari
FORWARDS: Anju Tamang, Bala Devi, Dangmei Grace, Anushka Samuel, Renu, Daya Devi, Roja Devi, Sandhiya Ranganathan
HEAD COACH: Maymol Rocky