India U-17 Women’s Team Head Coach Thomas Dennerby feels his players are starving to get back to the pitch once normalcy returns after the end of the nationwide lockdown that has been enforced to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I think the girls are hungry to get back to the pitch. Football is their life. All they want to do is to play the game again,” Dennerby said in a live chat on the Indian Football Team Facebook page.
“They are now at a stage where they are attempting to reach the highest level. There are a lot of training routines that they need to maintain for them to reach the physical levels where they can perform on the pitch. But deep down, I can really understand that they all want to get back on the pitch with the football once again,” the 60-year-old stated.
The U-17 Women’s Team were camping in Goa and were given a break to go back to see their families after training in February. But with the lockdown being enforced after that, they have been stuck at their respective homes post that.
Dennerby has come with a vast experience in his repertoire, having guided Sweden to the third spot in the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup, a quarterfinal finish in the 2012 Olympics.
The experienced campaigner believes that it is the perfect opportunity for the girls to make a mark for themselves at the onset of their respective footballing careers.
“This is the perfect opportunity for the girls to show everyone what they can do, at a high level. How many people get such an opportunity,” Dennerby stated.
“There will be 23 players in the final squad. Some maybe need to have an extra walk-talk with coach to calm down. Some are ready for pressure situations. Some need an extra push. There are different individuals in the team. You have to handle them differently.” The FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup India 2020 is to be held from February 17 to March 7, 2021 across five venues in India.