Match against Uzbekistan will be very challenging: Defender Martina

ANI
·2-min read
India women's football team (Image: AIFF)
India women's football team (Image: AIFF)

New Delhi [India], April 3 (ANI): Martina Thokchom, who has been brought into the senior side from the Indian U-17 women's football team, feels the upcoming match against Uzbekistan will be very challenging for the visitors.

Already training in Uzbekistan, the Indian women's team will play against the hosts on April 5 and against Belarus on April 8.

"Uzbekistan is a higher-ranked country (41 in the most recent FIFA rankings) and we're going to play in the AFC Women's Asian Cup next year so this friendly is very important. This match is going to be very challenging for us. We can use this as good preparation," said Martina in an AIFF release.

Martina credits the seniors for helping her feel like a 'part of the team', "When I first joined, I was quite nervous, but they (seniors) welcomed me nicely and made me feel comfortable. Helped with everything both on the field and off it which helped me feel like a part of the team.

"I miss my U-17 teammates a lot but here everyone is elder to me so I get to learn from their experience," she said.

The Indian team is currently hard at work as they train in Uzbekistan for their upcoming friendlies.

With an eye on the AFC Women's Asian Cup 2022 which will be held in India, head coach Maymol Rocky has been busy enacting her plan of integrating promising young talent with experienced heads in the squad.

Meanwhile, midfielder Sangita Basfore, who captained the side in the three friendlies in Turkey, is grateful for these opportunities in the midst of a pandemic.

"Initially we had issues because in lockdown we practised individually and when we came together, it was tough to understand each other, but slowly we bonded together as a team and developed a sense of unity. I need to thank the authorities for giving us these opportunities to train even in these times," said Sangita. (ANI)