The women’s league will commence from May 5 and will include some top Indian talents.
The third edition of the Indian Women’s League (IWL) will commence from Sunday, 5 May 2019 to be held in Ludhiana, Punjab. The league tournament, initiated by the All India Football Federation (AIFF) houses the best talent Indian football has to offer in the field of women’s football. From its inception back in 2016, the tournament has only grown in stature and has now extended to a total of 12 teams, thanks to the rising popularity and recognition of women’s football in India.
With the cream of the crop to take the field in the upcoming days for various women’s football clubs, we have compiled a list of top-five players to watch out for in the Indian Women’s League 2019.
5. Sangita Basfore – Rising Student’s Club
Defending champions, Rising Student’s Club are one of the many IWL clubs that have faced financial troubles of late and have struggled to pull in sponsors. Last-year’s winners have decided to field a younger, inexperienced squad for the tournament, as a result, Sangita Basfore is one of the names that will have to shoulder a lot of responsibility for the Odisha based club. She is an up and coming young talent in Indian football who is winning the hearts by her tireless performances in the midfield position.
The 21-year-old was one of the reasons behind India’s fabulous triumph in the recently concluded SAFF Women’s Championship 2019 in Nepal. Her passing range and industrious effort make her a threat for any opposition.
4. Indumathi Kathiresan – Sethu FC
Indumathi Kathiresan emerged as the joint top scorer in the SAFF Women’s Championship 2019 with four goals to her name. The Tamil Nadu based club reached the semi finals in the last campaign and will be largely dependent on their star striker, Indumathi for the goals. The attacking midfielder has an eye for goal and constantly makes attacking runs into the box, looking to get on the end for crosses.
Her scoring records are impressive for a midfielder, as her recent spoils in the SAFF Women’s Championship show. The 24-year-old will be central to Sethu FC and their title ambitions in the IWL.
3. Sanju Yadav – Gokulam Kerala FC
Sanju Yadav is a well renowned name in the IWL scene, having played in both editions prior to this with Alakhpura FC and Rising Student’s Club respectively. She played an important part in her former club’s league triumph with three important goals in eight matches. She was also part of the Indian National Team that won the SAFF Women’s Championship in 2016 and 2019.
The 21-year-old will be featuring for Gokulam Kerala FC in the third edition of the IWL and the fans of the Malabarians will be hoping that their new striker emulates her international form on the domestic stage. The forward is quick and can also pick out teammates in the final third with accurate through balls. Sanju Yadav will have her eyes on the top goal-scorer honour for the tournament.
2. Tanvie Hans – Bangalore United FC
Tanvie Hans comes to the IWL with an impressive pedigree. The Indian-British player has featured for the Tottenham Hotspur Ladies and Fulham Ladies in England. Despite having got the chance to play in England, the attacking midfielder emphasised her desire to contribute to Indian football as she feels obliged to make a difference to her footballing roots.
Tanvie recently also pointed out that she is attempting to change her citizenship to Indian from British and possibly play for India in near future. The Indian-origin player will take the field for Bengaluru United FC and will aim to lift her side to the league title. She has a mean left-foot and can shoot from a distance apart from being a nimble dribbler and a good passer of the ball. She is definitely one of the biggest threats to look out for in the upcoming IWL.
1. Dalima Chhibber – Gokulam Kerala FC
One of the biggest rising stars in women’s football in India, Dalima Chhibber will be the center of attention in the IWL. Her goal from 40 yards out in the final of the SAFF Women’s Championship 2019 against Nepal was the highlight of the tournament that had its likeness to Ronaldinho’s free kick goal against England in the 2002 FIFA World Cup. The center-back was awarded the Most Valuable Player of the Tournament for her rock solid defensive performances over the course of the tournament.
The 21-year-old has signed for Gokulam Kerala FC which makes them a force to reckon with this time around. Her ability to find teammates with pinpoint accuracy from long balls is an asset. Blessed with towering physicality and brilliant reading of the game, Dalima is hard to pass by for best of the best forwards.
The opening tie will see the defending champions Rising Student’s Club face against Gokulam Kerala FC on Sunday at the Guru Nanak Stadium, Ludhiana.