Sethu FC is gearing up to take part in the qualifiers of the 2017 AIFF-Indian Women’s League which starts on November 25.
The Madurai-based outfit is the first team from Tamil Nadu to take part in the premier women’s football competition.
The first match is against Baroda FC on November 25.
The team is coached by Kalpana Dass, who holds an AFC ‘A’ licence and has previously worked with several major women’s teams, including Pune FC.
Playing in the IWL Qualifying will be a big challenge for the side given their limited exposure and being an amateur side of school and college students, she was quoted as saying in a press release.
She said outstation players had been roped in this year but there were plans to use only Tamil Nadu players from next time.
“Sethu FC is the only team from Tamil Nadu in the IWL.. Right now we have some outstation players.. From next year we want to use only Tamil Nadu players.. This time we have roped in outstation players to give our side some experience and raise the level of their game,” she said.
The team is owned by former president of Tamil Nadu Football Association and current chairman of women’s committee, M Seeni Moideen.
Sethu FC is in six-team Group A in the qualifying league along with Rising Star (Odisha), Baroda FC (Gujarat), Capital Complex Sporting Club (Arunachal Pradesh), Indira Gandhi ASE (Puducherry) and J&K State Sports Council and will play five matches.
Group B comprises seven teams.
Only the toppers of each group will advance to the main event.
This would be the first National tournament for Sethu FC, which has predominantly played in Tamil Nadu, the release said.
Moideen said, “There is a lot of potential in Tamil Nadu in women’s football and I started this team to provide a boost to the women’s game in the state.. Our focus is also to improve the game in the state at the grassroots level.”
Squad (TN unless specified): Goalkeepers: N Sowmiya, I Ramya, Vinitha, S Rumpa Malik (WB).