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Women’s Football In India Is Picking Up Drastically, Says FC Pune City’s Captain

  • IWB Post
  •  March 14, 2019

While football in the country has been a sport usually associated with men, one girl who has been acting as an agent for change backing Indian women footballers is Darshana Sanas, the captain of FC Pune City’s women’s team.

Over the years Pune’s women’s team has been making a mark in the Pune District Football Association leagues and the Western India Football Association (WIFA) state championships. 23-year-old Sanas in a recent interview with Hindustan Times talked about her journey as a female footballer in the country and how the game is picking up momentum.

Speaking about her association with Pune club, Sanas shared, “I was with FC Pune City since day one – since they decided to make a women’s team so I feel a strong connection with the club. After we’ve had an established team it’s only been uphill with us winning the PDFA leagues and the state championships as well. The journey has been fantastic and we have a very good coaching staff here.”

While the domestic season for male footballers performing at various tournaments begins in September with the pre-Indian Super League (ISL) training, there are no fixed dates for women tournaments. However, unfazed by the situation, Sanas feels that women’s football is headed in the right direction.

“Women’s football in India isn’t at a developed level that we can follow a specific calendar but it is picking up drastically and the future is bright for the next generation. Playing in tournaments like the IWL also gives us the exposure and educates people that there are women participating at the top level too.”

Talking about how the game has been picking pace in her city, Sanas shared, “Since FC Pune City’s women’s team came up, I think the level has gone up considerably. We’ve been given opportunities to go to Haldwani to play Fustal and we’ve also gone to Delhi and Goa. At the school level, we’re scouting a lot of youngsters to join our team and in the next five years I certainly see a handful of Pune’s players representing India because the level of football is fantastic.”

Apart from being a professional player, Sanas also coaches children of different age groups and dreams to make them better players than her by the time they turn 23.

“I coach the under-10s, 12s, and 14s at three different stations (Law College Road, Baner, and Kothrud) in Pune. There is a lot that I can learn from my kids which in turn helps me while I actually am playing. We get to know more about football while coaching that we don’t while playing. It’s also good to communicate and be a mode of transfer of information to the kids.”

H/T: The Hindustan Times 

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