Indian women's football team head coach Maymol Rocky Thursday said that her players can now match any opposition in terms of fitness and the recently-introduced player tracking technology has helped in that aspect. The Indian team is currently playing in the Tokyo Olympics Qualifiers Round 2. It defeated Indonesia 2-0 in its opening match on Wednesday. The next match is against Nepal on Saturday.
"We understood that in the time frame for the AFC Olympic Qualifiers in Myanmar, we would be playing in temperatures over 40 degrees. The core group is a youthful one, physically very robust, and can match any opposition," Maymol said. "This batch of girls can play 90 minutes without tiring, and if needed, even the extra 30. Better speed, reflexes, and stamina -- that is what we are stressing on. It allows us to defend with numbers, and move the ball faster in attack," she explained.
Maymol said it would not have been easy had the team not been provided the GPS technology. "The player tracking system (GPS) helps us to understand the players, and monitor their heart rate and work load. Through that we understand how much workload the player is undergoing. They also help to develop conditioning drills that help the players in general fitness."
Maymol said recovery sessions, however, stays paramount. "We want the players to be cent per cent fit and give their all in each and every match, and training session. Recovery is a very important part of that. Mandalay is very hot and humid. So the players need to increase their intake of water, and keep themselves hydrated," the coach said. "Diet plays a major key role in fitness, and conditioning. Too much carbohydrates can lead to bloating and stiffness. We have stitched a plan for each player and they follow accordingly," she said.
(With inputs from agencies.)