Shillong, February 6: Indian women’s football team’s goalkeeper Aditi Chauhan believes the game is the new trend in India and is on an upward graph.
“Women’s football is the new trend in India and it certainly is on an upward surge. It is heartening to see young girls passionately indulged in the ‘Beautiful Game,’ Chauhan said in a release from the All India Football Federation on Monday.
“I met a young girl in the opening ceremony of the 12th South Asian Games and she was excited to meet me and the Indian women. She clicked pictures with us and it is heartening to see such young girls live their goals. Situations like these are indications of better days to come.”
The 23-year-old says the youth coming into women’s football is a very positive sign and the future looks safe for the time being.
“There has been an influx of youth in the Indian squad and that is a very positive sign. The average age of our current squad is just below 24 and that speaks volumes in itself. The future is safe as it lies on the young players who are getting maximum exposure now and that is very reassuring,” said the former West Ham United Ladies Football Club custodian.
Asked about her Manuel Neuer-esque way of being on the half-line against Maldives in the South Asian Games opener where India were held to a goalless draw, Chauhan said: “It was nothing but desperation and urgency for a goal. We would’ve won the match had we taken our chances in front of the goal.
“However, results are part and parcel of football and you have to acknowledge them, improve and look forward to the next challenge.”
She believes the next encounter will be tough but the team will try and pocket all three points.
“Sri Lanka are tough opponents and we respect them. We will be going out for a win and give our cent percent to grab all three points,” she said.
Speaking about her stint with English club West Ham, Chauhan said: “The standard of football was very high and it evolved me into a better player. The support that I got from the club was incredible in context to my growth. The stint made me into a better overall goalkeeper.”
She added that wearing the national colours and representing the country gives her a sense of euphoria.
“The feeling when you wear the national colours at any time of your career — be it your first match or your hundredth, is unparalleled. It is a statement that you are one of the best football players in your country and that feeling is not only relieving, but more or less euphoric,” she stated.