West indian people

Manisha: People who objected to me playing with boys now like me

Manisha Kalyan, the latest Indian girls’ soccer star, has been criticized for playing with the boys in her village during her school time, but opponents have turned into her admirers after her goal against mighty Brazil in a recent tournament .

Manisha scored India’s lone goal in the 1-6 loss to former World Cup finalist Brazil at the four-nation tournament in Manaus, making his country’s last soccer star ahead of the AFC Women’s Asian Cup in Mumbai and Pune next month.

“I used to play with the boys from my village when I was in school. Once or twice my parents complained why I am the only girl playing among the boys,” Manisha said. during a virtual interaction, hosted by the All Indian Football Federation (AIFF).

“They said it was not good for a girl to play with boys, but my parents always supported me, supported me. So I did not take these complaints seriously,” said the young woman from 20 years old, from the village of Mugowal in the Punjab. Hoshiarpur district.

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The situation changed after his return from Brazil.

“Many villagers came to meet my parents and congratulated them, saying that I had done the right thing (by opting for a career in sports).” A passionate fan of Ronaldinho, Manisha used to watch a lot of videos of the former Brazilian star who won the Ballon d’Or.

“My friends in my village called me ‘dinho’. When I first set up my Instagram account it was called ‘mkd’ meaning Manisha Kalyan Dinho.“ I also love watching Messi, his passing precision. and his finish. “Interested in athletics and basketball, Manisha turned to football on the advice of her physical education (PET) teacher at school when she was in eighth grade. .

“Before 8th standard I played basketball, I ran 100m and 200m. Our teacher PET was a footballer and he asked me if I wanted to play on the district football team.

“He did my try and I was selected. I also felt great and told the coach that I would only play football. I started training football after school. “

She left her village school because she was only eighth grade and the new school which was 15 km from her home had better football facilities. There she honed her initial skills.

“I used to cycle there. There were better players, good nutrition, and I learned a lot,” she said.

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“After that the offer from Kenkre FC came in, and I played in IWL for Sethu FC. Then came the call for the U-17 national team to play in the BRICS Cup.” After his stints in the U-18 and U-19 national teams, Manisha made his way to the senior team. She also played for Gokulam Kerala in the first AFC Women’s Club Champions League last month.

Manisha said the goal against Brazil gave her more confidence even though she needed improvements in many areas of her game.

“Since I joined the national camp in 2019, I have improved my bases in which I was poor. I worked to improve my first touch.

“When I play as a winger, at the beginning my first touch came out but I learned to keep it. My shooting accuracy was not very good, I worked on that too.” She said the national team have improved a lot lately, especially this year after playing many international matches. She said India could advance to the knockout stages of the AFC Asian Cup.

“The South Americans were a little taller, but we have improved our fitness, strength and endurance. Previously we thought we were physically weak, but now we are much better and we are not afraid of any team We just need to work on a few basics.

“Skill wise, I feel like we are a bit lacking in our basics like the first touch, misses etc. But we are not lacking in speed and strength.”

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