Credits AIFF Media Team
SILIGURI: All the head coaches from the participating nations barring Maldives and Bangladesh, who are scheduled to reach by tomorrow morning, attended the pre-tournament press conference in Siliguri today (December 25, 2016).
Mr. Jasmine (Sri Lanka), Mrs. Kelly Lindsy (Afghanistan), Mr. Kumar Thapa (Nepal), Mr. Lee (Bhutan) andMr. Sajid Yusuf Dar (India) addressed the media in the press conference.
It’s the first tournament for the India team sans the legendary ballplayer Bembem Devi, who hung up her boots after the successful campaign during the South Asian Games in Shillong earlier this year.
“Although she’s not there with us as a player, but she is very much with the girls to share her expertise and loads of experience. Now the onus is on the girls to show their mettle ahead of the supporters”, Sajid stated at the press conference.
He added more, “Girls have come in the wake of a long camp at Hoshiarpur and we have every reason to stay positive before our first match on December 27.”
Nepal, who ended up as the runners-up in the last edition, are upbeat to stage an upset to start 2017 in a positive way.
“Yes, the memory didn’t go well with us in 2014. But, we’re looking forward to turning the table now”, Kumar Thapa sounded pretty optimistic while addressing the media.
Sri Lankan coach sounded a bit sceptical about the climate of Siliguri which is a bit different from their country, but he mentioned that players have to be ‘adaptive and positive’ before the tournament starts.
“Sooner the players adapt to the climate, better for us. It’s the perfect stage for us to perform and we can’t afford to complain about the climate.”
Mrs. Kelly Lindsy, Head Coach of Afghanistan, commented, “We want to leave a long-lasting impression before we leave the SAFF zone.”
Incidentally, this is the last SAFF Women’s Championship where Afghanistan is going to ply their trade. They have already joined the Central Asian Zone.
She wholeheartedly thanked the local organising committee as well.
“We have been very thankful to the organising committee for all the facilities provided to us. The atmosphere is really pleasant and we’re looking forward to a gruelling tournament ahead”, Lindsy concluded.