By Saba Rajkotia
Thomas Dennerby, head coach of India’s Under-17 Women’s Football team, has expressed his delight at the hard work put in by his players to stay fit during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a result of India’s nation-wide lockdown, players have returned to their homes and Dennerby has left India for his home in Sweden. Before leaving, however, Dennerby had laid out a fitness regime for his players to follow whilst under lockdown.
He says, “The girls already had a very detailed fitness programme, which was provided to them earlier. They report to Per (Karlsson, the team’s fitness coach) and all other staff also follows… I am really impressed with the players
“I told them to keep training with focus, follow the fitness programme they have and to report to the staff about what they do every day. Also, I asked them to stay calm and not worry about missing training sessions
“I follow the daily reports on a special WhatsApp group and we can see that the girls work very hard. It was more a social-relationship meeting. Just saying hello and encouraging everyone to keep training hard”.
The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has also arranged for the players to interact with their Swedish coach and support staff through video conference. Both Dennerby and his staff are working together to develop more webinars and online modules for the team to work with as the lockdown period continues.
The team was due to play in the U-17 FIFA World Cup this November in India itself. However, the tournament has now been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and FIFA, AIFF, and the Local Organising Committee are yet to finalise a revised date. Nevertheless, through determination, dedication and with the help of their coach and support staff, India’s U-17 Women’s Football Team will be prepared for whenever that date finally arrives.