Thomas Dennerby and players in India

By Oyediji Oluwaseun Babatunde

Sports Writer, Nigeria

Former Super Falcons coach and current Indian Under-17 girls manager, Thomas Dennerby said that his players are eager and starving to return to the field of play after the CoronaVirus pandemic.

He disclosed this during a recent Indian Football Team Facebook Live video interview.

“The players are starving to come back to the field and play. If you are a footballer, you will know that football is life. When on the field, players always feel very fine playing with teammates. It is also important to start again with the teamwork. We are all waiting for that moment when we can come together again,” he said.

The Swede also spoke on what he and his coaching staff will do when the girls return to camp after COVID-19.

“We will do the easiest thing first which is to check the fitness level of the players. We have a test factory that will help us to secure that players are in good shape when they arrive. The result of the test will also help us to do a new long-term program before the start of the World Cup. We will also look at the technical aspect of the players. We were in such a good momentum when the players left in March because the team was doing well. I hope we can come back to that. The girls are so ambitious and passionate.”

The Indian Under 17 girls will be the host of FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup which has now been rescheduled to take place from 17 February to 7 March 2021 due to Coronavirus pandemic.

The Indian girls have played tuned up matches in preparation for the tournament including two matches against Sweden before football was halted. Coach Dennerby asserted that the games have improved the girls’ pace as he is trying to manage them tactically and technically.

“The players have improved. They have speed and pace which shows that the fitness level is high and the decision making is also quick. When we had Webinar and other meetings with the girls, they realized that something is going on and that we are going to achieve success together at the World Cup. We are helping them with a lot of things so that they will know how to handle situations at the World Cup, ” he concluded.

Dennerby guided Sweden to third place at the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup and quarter-final finish at the 2012 Olympics. He was also in charge of Super Falcons’ of Nigeria during their 2018 African Women’s Cup of Nations, AWCON triumph as well as a Round of 16 finish at France 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. The gaffer is being assisted by former Super Falcons goalkeeper, Precious Dede who is the Indian Under 17 girls’ goalkeepers’ coach as they work towards guiding the team to their first football world cup appearance.


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