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Wednesday, December 01, 2021

Need to be mentally strong during Brazil tour, says defender Sweety Devi

The Indian team has already played in five different countries in 2021 -- Turkey, Uzbekistan, UAE, Bahrain, and Sweden.

By: PTI |
Updated: November 11, 2021 8:52:53 pm
Sweety is looking forward to the team's upcoming tour of Brazil. (Twitter/India Football Team)

Indian women’s football team defender Nganbam Sweety Devi feels the squad needs to be strong mentally and play as a unit against stronger opponents like Brazil, Chile and Venezuela in the coming days.

Sweety is looking forward to the team’s upcoming tour of Brazil.

“We need to be strong mentally. Playing Brazil won’t be easy. Our coaches are looking after the tactical aspect. The most important thing for us is that we need to play together as a team. The team bonding is quite high, and we will play together. We respect them, but we will play hard,” she told the AIFF.

When asked what went through her head when she first heard that the team will be playing three matches in Brazil, Sweety had one word — “Marta!”

“It will be a huge challenge to play against her. We will try to stop her, and are working on our plans. If possible, maybe we can speak a few words with her too after the game,” the 21-year-old said.

The Indian team has already played in five different countries in 2021 — Turkey, Uzbekistan, UAE, Bahrain, and Sweden.

As part of preparation for the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup, the players are looking to lap up as many opportunities of playing against quality teams from all around the world.

“It’s a challenge to play against superior teams. It’s a good opportunity and challenge. We are developing ourselves, and it’s a good opportunity for us to play them, so we want to take this opportunity,” she stated.

“We learned a lot from the exposure tours that we recently had. We had never played these opponents — UAE, Bahrain, Chinese Taipei, and then Sweden.

“The good thing was that the level of intensity of the matches slowly increased so that we could also match up to the opposition. At the end, the matches were of really high intensity,” Sweety opined.

The team had set up camp in Jamshedpur in August, with infrastructure and logistical help coming in from the Government of Jharkhand.

During that period, the team worked on a range of things, including strength, endurance, technique and tactics under head coach Thomas Dennerby.

“The strength sessions are quite different. All our preparations are for the AFC (Asian Cup), and the opponents that we will be facing there.

“We have specialised trainers to help us with our fitness levels, and all the girls also push each other in the team that we can do these drills, which at first seem quite difficult.

“If you lift 10kg today, then the rest push you to lift 15kgs tomorrow, and then 20kgs the day after,” she said.

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