Changes in national team set-up have helped players: Bala Devi

Ludhiana: Manipur Police’s Ngangom Bala Devi during the Indian Women’s League match between Manipur Police and SAI-STC Cuttack at the Guru Nanak Stadium in Ludhiana, on May 8, 2019. (Photo: IANS)

New Delhi, Oct 30 (IANS) As the Indian senior women’s team camps here for the forthcoming back to back international friendlies against Vietnam on November 3 and 6 respectively, Bala Devi hailed the recent changes in the national team set-up which she feels has “helped the players in innumerable ways.”

“Since making my debut in 2005, I have been playing in the national team for more than a decade now. But there has been a string of recent changes, and all for good,” she maintained.

“We have seen some considerable changes in the dietary regime, training sessions, and most importantly video analysis off late. Laying out a proper diet plan, carbohydrate balance, protein intake, are aspects which are being taken being care of nowadays, and all of that helps players recover faster,” Bala, who plays as a forward for the team, explained.

“When someone assesses your performance from the side lines and explains it later, it helps you detect the mistakes. Understandably, the next time, you’ll certainly want to avoid them,” she added.

“Compared to earlier days, we spend more time in the gym nowadays. We stress on core exercises. These processes significantly reduce the chances of injuries, and accelerate the recovery process which is of paramount importance from a player’s vantage point,” she continued.

However, Bala added that all of that would have fallen flat had not the senior women’s team got that much needed exposure which landed them “the opportunity to gauge where we stand, and put all into effect.”

“Since January 2019, we have played around 20 international matches. We played in the COTIF Cup, away matches against Hong Kong, Indonesia, Uzbekistan, and now we are slated to travel to Vietnam. In addition, there was the Hero Gold Cup, the SAFF Championship, the Olympic qualifiers,” she expressed.

She also highlighted the significant impact of the domestic competitions in the women’s calendar. “Domestic competitions build the players. It significantly contributes to introducing more youngsters for the National Team. The current average age of the national team now is much lower compared to what it was five years ago,” she concluded.

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