Indian Women's team midfielder Asharani Devi has already packed plenty into her football career. Hailing from Manipur, where the game has grown massively since she first started competing and has gone on to represent her country.
Asharani speaks about her journey so far, her view on the Women's footballand her own personal career targets as well as the game in general.
Can you elaborate a little about your past and what made you get into football?
My father has been a huge football follower from the time I am seeing him, so it was entirely his decision to get me to the beautiful game. He almost forced me at one point of time to attend practice sessions or trainings if I would not go for an anonymous reason. Later this turned into my passion but if my father did not gave me that constant pushing, then maybe I won't be coming to this level ever.
How were the early days of your football experience and from where you started exactly?
Started my football career with grassroots level training programs where I met Chaoba Devi maa'm for the first time. It was a beautiful experience which ignited the spark in me to continue playing football at professional level.
This season IWL looks quite different from what we have seen in the past. What factors do you think is contributing to this?
I'll try to give my best for this season as this year the tournament is held in a larger scale and the competition is also fierce.
Is there any specific coach or person who has been always inspiring you to play football or who has been a constant guide toyour career from a very young age?
The current National Women's team assistant coach Chaoba Devi is the oneI can say who worked as an inspiration in my life. She was impressed with my playing and made me believe that if I continue to play like I did, I could look forward to a bright future where football is concerned. And am extremely grateful that he believed in me and my dreams and have fully supported me on the journey.
Where do you see Sethu FC finishing in IWL?
I am confident that this season we are going to perform better than what wehave done in the previous seasons. The team has what it takes to win the title this time. That's our ultimate goal and bring it home for the first time.
How do you think midfield is important for any team?
According to me midfield can be regarded easily as the backbone of any team. It is such an important segment of the game and we actually have a lot of control about the game in our hands.
Which team according to you can give a tough time to you and your fellow attackers in the IWL?
I am really looking forward to play against Baladevi who is playing for Manipur Police Sports Club this season. Going against such an experienced striker is a new challenge am looking forward to take.
What do you think are your strengths this year?
We are a young team with a great desire to do and improve, moreover, behind us we have players with great experience and many years of playing football. Our strength this year? Being a TEAM!
Where do you see yourself going from the end of this tournament and what will be your outcome from Sethu FC?
This season I think we do have a really balanced team, we are banking on experience as well as fresh legs for this tournament. I think we have workedhard and a great group has been formed to try to achieve the goal of winning the title.
Also, we have a coach like Amrutha Aravind who likes to work hard. She is a great person. She works very well, believes in her players and always supports us. That is important because you know that the coach has confidence in you and your work on the field.