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Thomas Dennerby Becomes Head Coach of Indian Women's Football Team Ahead of Asian Cup 2022

By: Sports Desk

News18.com

Last Updated: August 13, 2021, 14:20 IST

New Delhi

Thomas Dennerby is the new temporary head coach of the Indian senior women's football team. (AIFF Photo)

Thomas Dennerby is the new temporary head coach of the Indian senior women's football team. (AIFF Photo)

Thomas Dennerby will be the head coach of the Indian women's team till the Asian Cup after which he will take back the role of the head coach of the U-17 World Cup squad.

Thomas Dennerby will take charge of the Indian women’s national team as head coach with immediate effect ahead of the AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) announced on Friday. The decision was taken by the AIFF Technical Committee ahead of the big continental event, which will be hosted by India from January 20-February 6 next year.

Dennerby was earlier in charge of India’s U-17 World Cup squad and will go back to that duty once the Asian Cup is over. Dennerby has an experience of over 30 years in coaching several national teams. The UEFA Pro Diploma Holder had guided Sweden’s women’s national team to a 3rd-place finish in the FIFA World Cup in 2011, and a quarter-final spot in the 2012 London Olympics.

He also served as the head coach of the Nigerian women’s national team and took them to the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. He also helped the Nigerian women win the AWCON Award 2018, and was awarded the 2018 Coach of the Year in Nigeria.

“I am grateful to the All India Football Federation for finding me suitable for the job. It’s an honour to be taking over as the head coach of the Indian senior women’s national team," Dennerby stated. “I have been in India and am aware of the huge potential. It is a big challenge to get the girls ready for the AFC Women’s Asian Cup. Life is all about challenges, and I relish it," he added.

AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das said: “With his vast experience, Thomas will bring in immense value addition to the women’s team. He is acquainted with India and we look forward together for him to improve our team technically, and competitively."

Meanwhile, the Indian women’s team will be having a camp in Jamshedpur from August 16 to September 6. The list of players called for the camp did not include Bala Devi and Dalima Chhibber while goalkeeper Panthoi Chanu has also been away since she got injured. Sanju, on the other hand, is back in the camp after recuperating from an injury. Here is the list of players:

GOALKEEPERS: Aditi Chauhan, Sowmiya Narayanasamy, Maibam Linthoingambi Devi, Shreya Hooda

DEFENDERS: Jabamani Tudu, Ashalata Devi, Sweety Devi, Ritu Rani, Ranjana Chanu, Wangkhem Linthoingambi Devi, Kritina Devi Thounaojam, Anju Tamang, Asem Roja Devi, Hemam Shilky Devi, Michel Margaret Castanha

MIDFIELDERS: Indumathi Kathiresan, Manisha, Sangita Basfore, Martina Thokchom, Dangmei Grace, Soumya Guguloth, Sanju Yadav, Sumithra Kamaraj, Mariyammal Balamurugan

FORWARDS: Renu, Karishma Purushottam Shirvoikar, Sandhiya Ranganathan, Sumati Kumari, Heigrujam Daya Devi, Pyari Xaxa

Till the time Dennerby is looking after the senior team, the U-17 girls will be training under assistant coach Alex Ambrose, who will be working in close coordination with Dennerby.

Ahead of the Asian Cup, the AIFF has also planned a number of international exposure tours for the women’s team but all of that is “subject to materialisation in view of the current pandemic situation which prevails all over the world, restricting travel worldwide."

Apart from tours, subject to approval from the Indian government, AIFF plans to host an international women’s tournament in India soon.

AIFF has also announced that the Senior National Championships are planned for November while the next edition of the Indian Women’s League (IWL) will take place in the March/Aprill window next year in Bhubaneswar.

The AIFF release read, “the Head Coach was very clear that it would not be prudent to allow national team players to participate in Hero IWL before the Asian Cup in 2022, and accordingly it will be held after the Asian Cup."

Participation in both the competitions will be granted solely to players/staff who have got themselves fully vaccinated.

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first published:August 13, 2021, 14:16 IST
last updated:August 13, 2021, 14:20 IST