May 10, 2021

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‘IWL has made Indian players financially stable’ – Manisha Kalyan hails IWL’s role in improving Women’s football in India


The midfielder believed that the U-17 Women’s World Cup and the AFC Women’s Asian Cup will help raise awareness of women’s football in India …

Manisha Kalyan made her international debut for the Indian Women’s National Team at the age of 17 in 2019 during a friendly match in Hong Kong.

Even before making her national team debut, the girl had signed for Gokulam Kerala FC and played in the 2018-19 Indian Women’s League (IWL) season where she scored two goals. In success, she tasted success for the first time as Gokulam won her first IWL title.

The Punjabi midfielder felt that by presenting the IWL, the Indian Football Association (AIFF) has done a great service to women’s football in India, as playing in such professional leagues gives the players the necessary financial security.

What did Manisha say?

“The IWL was very important for women’s football in India,” said Kalyan. Goal in an exclusive chat. “It used to be just a national women’s competition and it was the only professional football tournament for women. There weren’t any other tournaments so it was important. Firstly, thanks to the IWL, the girls are now financially stable which is very important for professionals. players. We get competitive matches against quality players which improve our level. “

In 2020, Kalyan won his very first trophy in professional club football, but almost immediately after, football in India had to be shut down due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Since March 2020, the footballers have so far not had any competitive action.

The IWL’s new season was due to start in May, but a sudden increase in COVID-19 cases in India once forced the Indian FA to shut it down.

Impact of the pandemic on women’s football

“It wasn’t just for us, but the pandemic has affected everyone across the world. Cases are high in India at the moment, so they had to cancel the IWL. Let’s see what happens next.

“It’s a problem, of course, because we can’t play competitive matches. If we don’t get matches, we won’t be able to assess our progress. We are training on our own. But it certainly has. affected. us, ”said the Indian midfielder.

Manisha Kalyan IWL Gokulam Kerala

“ Gokulam Kerala, a well organized team ”

The youngster wholeheartedly congratulated Gokulam Kerala and certified it as a very well organized club. She also remembered the championship winning season with the Malabarians.

“I played for Gokulam Kerala for two seasons in the IWL and the best thing I liked about the club was their training sessions and their organization. The coaches at the club are very good. The season we have won the trophy, we were like a tight-knit unit and that’s why we won the title. “

Importance of the U-17 World Cup and the AFC Asian Cup?

“The AFC Women’s Asian Cup is in 2022 and my goal is to do well for the country and make sure we give the other teams a tough competition. I’m working really hard for that. After that, j hope to have a chance to play outside the country for a foreign club.

“The U-17 World Cup and the AFC Women’s Asian Cup will be very good for women’s football in India. It will be a great opportunity to showcase women’s football in the country.”