The India U-19 Women’s National Team landed safely in Hanoi, Vietnam today morning for the forthcoming AFC U-19 Women’s Championship Qualifiers which kicks-off from November 2, 2016.
India have been clubbed with hosts Vietnam and a strong Iran in Group D and only the Group winners will qualify for the final stage which is to be held next year.
The girls who left Delhi on Diwali night got a pleasant surprise when they bumped into Indian Men’s National Coach Stephen Constantine at the Indira Gandhi International Airport. Constantine who was on his way to DPR Korea to conduct a FIFA Coaching Course met the girls asking them to “fight.”
“Fight,” he stressed. “Don’t let them dominate you. Show them who you are. Fight on the field. Good luck,” he told the contingent. The girls even posed for a picture with the National Coach.
Head Coach Sajid Dar maintained meeting the National Coach was a “morale booster” for the squad.
“It was such a nice gesture from the National Coach to walk up to us and meet the girls. It was the much needed encouragement for the girls and even the support staff – a morale booster. Stephen gave his best wishes and it means a lot,” Sajid told AIFF Media.
The girls, nevertheless, were greeted by a drizzle at Hanoi. The weather forecast predicts rain for the next five days but Sajid isn’t much perturbed.
“Yeah, it’s raining. But hopefully it won’t affect us much. The temperatures are more or less similar to what we had in Gandhinagar where we trained for a month,” he quipped.
The Indian contingent is based at the Vietnam Football Federation’s National Training Centre which boasts of accommodation facilities, the pantry, training grounds and even the match ground.
The Indian girls had a light training session late afternoon. “It was an overnight travel for us. We need to settle down fast. We will have another session tomorrow,” Sajid informed.
India first play Iran on November 2 followed by a match against hosts Vietnam on November 4.
(Report & Photo courtesy: AIFF Media)