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2016 SAFF Women's Championship set to kickoff in Siliguri

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Everything starts from zero on december 27, comments Sajid Dhar ...

India Women's Team are on the cusp of kick-starting their campaign in the pursuit of their fourth straight SAFF Women's Championship at the Kanchenjunga Stadium in Siliguri on December 27, 2016.

All the head coaches from the participating nations barring Maldives and Bangladesh, who are scheduled to reach by tomorrow morning, attended the pre-tournament press conference in Siliguri today (December 25, 2016). 

Mr. Jasmine (Sri Lanka), Mrs. Kelly Lindsy (Afghanistan), Mr. Kumar Thapa (Nepal),  Mr. Lee (Bhutan) andMr. Sajid Yusuf Dar (India) addressed the media in the press conference.

Meanwhile, Sajid Dar assured that the team will leave no stone unturned to continue the winning spree here.

"Yes, we're coming as the defending champions but everything starts from zero on December 27. We have to prove our worth to clinch the silverware", Sajid spoke at one go during the press conference.

Meanwhile, it's the first tournament where India are going to play without the quintessential service from Bembem Devi, who hung her boots after the successful South Asian Games campaign.

"It's not true that Bembem is not with us, she is here to share her experiences with the girls and there are enough opportunities for them to learn from her", Sajid commented on being asked whether Bembem Devi's absence is going to dent India's title hopes in the ensuing championship.

Although he's saying that India will take 'one match at a time', he affixes his bull's eye nothing short of the title.

"We're playing our first match in two days and then look forward to the next one- one match at a time."

India team had an extended training session today afternoon at the SSB Ground in Siliguri. India will play their first match against Afghanistan at the Kanchenjunga Stadium in Siliguri on December 27, 2016.

He added more, "Girls have come in the wake of a long camp at Hoshiarpur and we have every reason to stay positive before our first match on December 27."

Nepal, who ended up as the runners-up in the last edition, are upbeat to stage an upset to start 2017 in a positive way.

"Yes, the memory didn't go well with us in 2014. But, we're looking forward to turning the table now", Kumar Thapa sounded pretty optimistic while addressing the media.

Sri Lankan coach sounded a bit sceptical about the climate of Siliguri which is a bit different from their country, but he mentioned that players have to be 'adaptive and positive' before the tournament starts.

"Sooner the players adapt to the climate, better for us. It's the perfect stage for us to perform and we can't afford to complain about the climate."

Mrs. Kelly Lindsy, Head Coach of Afghanistan, commented, "We want to leave a long-lasting impression before we leave the SAFF zone."

Incidentally, this is the last SAFF Women's Championship where Afghanistan is going to ply their trade. They have already joined the Central Asian Zone.

She wholeheartedly thanked the local organising committee as well.

"We have been very thankful to the organising committee for all the facilities provided to us. The atmosphere is really pleasant and we're looking forward to a gruelling tournament ahead", Lindsy concluded.

Fixtures:-

26 December 2016
Nepal Vs Bhutan
Sri Lanka Vs Maldives

27 December 2016
India Vs Afghanistan

28 December 2016
Bhutan Vs Sri Lanka
Maldives Vs Nepal

29 December 2016
Bangladesh Vs Afghanistan

30 December 2016
Nepal Vs Sri Lanka
Maldives Vs Bhutan

31 December 2016
India Vs Bangladesh

2 January 2016 - Semi Finals 

4 January 2016 - Finals

Published: Sun Dec 25, 2016 08:56 PM IST

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