All India Football Federation Secretary General Shaji Prabhakaran on Sunday, visited the India U-17 Women’s National Team at the team hotel in Bhubaneswar and interacted with the players, coaching staff and team officials. AIFF Executive Member Avijit Paul was also present on the occasion.
India are set to participate in the FIFA U-17 World Cup beginning on Tuesday.
While talking to the players, Shaji Prabhakaran expressed hopes that the team will make the nation proud by dishing out their best on the pitch. “The entire country is rooting for you. You need to enjoy the moment,” he said.
Shaji Prabhakaran motivated the girls ahead of the tournament through his encouraging words. He said: “You are representing 1.4 billion people. Your performance will be watched live in 140 countries. This is the biggest opportunity for you all to show the world who you are and what you are capable of.”
Shaji Prabhakaran met the players and Coach Thomas Dennerby and advised the girls not to lose focus and play as per the coach’s plan.
“Try your best, and give it all. You should always have in mind a picture of the plan the coach has given you. Keep your focus, it’s a launching pad for you all,” he said.
He also mentioned how everyone can become like their role model, Bala Devi, and asked everyone to dream big. “Look at Bala Devi – she went to Europe to play. You can also do it if you dream big. Do nurture a dream to play for top teams in Europe, where thousands of people will watch you from the stands,” he said.
Shaji Prabhakaran said: “I am sure, you will make India proud. You need to perform and don’t think about results. If you put up your best, results will automatically come. At the end, all the people in the stadium should stand up and clap for you.
“When you go back home, people should receive you and give you a warm welcome – perform like that,” he concluded.
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