Back from England after playing two seasons with West Ham United Ladies Football Club, goalkeeper Aditi Chauhan is hopeful of regaining her spot in the national women’s team for the Asian Games later this year.
Aditi is anticipating a better show from the team at the Asian Games to be held in Jakarta, Indonesia.
“I am coming back from an injury and this year. The Asian Games are taking place in August. So my target is to return to the senior team and represent my country in Indonesia,” Aditi told a select group of media persons in Jammu.
Aditi, daughter of Inspector General of CRPF, Jammu, A V Chauhan, is the only Indian woman footballer who played for the top English club for two seasons from 2015.
West Ham Ladies are currently in the Football Association’s (FA) Women’s Premier League Southern Division, a league in the third level in the women’s football structure in England. She is here to spend time with her parents and is leaving for Delhi next week to resume her training ahead of the national camp for the Asian Games.
“We still have a long way to go but I am confident that the team will do better this time (in the Asian Games) compared to last year.
“Last time, it was little bit unfair also as in our pool there were teams like China and Korea. They are ranked much higher than India so we were unlucky in that aspect,” she said.
Brimming with confidence after her experience with the West Ham, Aditi said she would work harder to ensure her selection in Asian Games-bound squad.
“I had gone for studies and landed in London for internship through my course. There are opportunities, no matter what level you are playing and there is a football club in every corner,” Aditi said.
“Basically, I wanted to test myself that if I am the first goalkeeper of the national team back in the country and if I have that calibre where does it puts me in England.
“I gave a trial in Mill Wall club but because I was on student visa I could not play professionally for that club.
But their goalkeeper coach was also the West Ham coach and suggested me to give a trial there. After the trial match and two training sessions, I was selected,” she said.
About her experience in England where she completed her post graduate degree in sports management from Loughborough University, she said it was very difficult as the level of their sport is much higher.
“We have to accept the fact that the history of football in Europe is very old while the football culture in our country is new. It is very unfair to compare the two. Football is their main sport and it will take time to match their standard,” she said.