A foreign coach for the first time – Thomas Dennerby’s appointment a turning point for the Indian women’s football team?

The Swede will take charge of the national team in the upcoming women’s national team camp in Jharkhand

When Thomas Dennerby was appointed as the head coach of the Indian women’s national team, it was for the first time that an overseas tactician was handed over the reins of the Indian eves. It is a historic decision in many ways for the Indian women’s team.

After Maymol Rocky stepped down in July, the position was vacant and AIFF’s (All India Football Federation) Technical Committee thought that it would be best to use the experience of Dennerby for the benefit of the senior team, keeping in mind the upcoming AFC Asian Cup in 2022 which will be hosted in India.  

From Sushil Bhattacharya in the 1970s to Rocky, all the previous managers of the Indian women’s team had been Indians. 

Rocky had taken over the reins of the team in 2017 and had been in charge for the past four years. The Indian team has produced some brilliant results under her tutelage as they made it to the second round of the Olympic qualifiers for the first time in November 2018. They also won the SAFF Women’s Championship title in 2019 and gold at the South Asian Games in Nepal.

India Women

After a hiatus of almost 40 years, India will be participating in the AFC Asian Cup and the AIFF do not want to leave any stone unturned to prepare Ashalata Devi and co. for the marquee continental tournament. Dennerby, who is a proven candidate in women’s football, has been asked to charge. 

The 62-year-old will straight away get to work with the girls at the national team camp in Jharkhand which is set to commence from August 16. He has been extremely successful in his previous stints as the coach of the Swedish and the Nigerian women’s national teams. In fact, he guided the Scandinavian country to a 3rd-place finish in the FIFA World Cup in 2011, and a quarter-final spot in the 2012 London Olympics.

Whereas, with the African country he won the AWCON Award 2018 and was even awarded the 2018 Coach of the Year in Nigeria.

The Indian women’s team has struggled in the recent past and they remain winless in 2021. They played five matches including three matches in the Turkish Cup and two friendlies. Indian eves suffered a 8-0 humiliation to Russia in one of those games. Though they were winless in the other matches, the eves were competitive in the other matches. However, it remains to be seen how Dennerby shapes the fortunes of this squad.

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