Indian women’s national team goalkeeper Aditi Chauhan feels that there needs to be more representation from the top men’s leagues – Indian Super League and I-League – in the Indian Women’s League.

Chauhan, who has played for English club West Ham United FC, was part of Gokulam Kerala’s side that lifted the IWL title in 2020.

“I hope that in the coming years we have more ISL and I-league teams putting in a women’s team in the IWL and everyone wants more competition, more players, more teams, more matches throughout the year,” she said during a chat with fans on the ApolloXSports Instagram page.

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Expressing her desire for a longer duration for the top professional football league for women in the country, the goalkeeper said: “Hopefully, the IWL will extend and will be for a longer period than just for a month.”

“Those are the things I feel will happen soon and that is the reason I feel the U-17 World Cup will play a major role in trying to accelerate this process,” she said on the role that the Fifa U-17 Women’s World Cup, which will be staged in India next year, will play.

“I was going through the legacy plan and the ideas for the legacy plan after the U-17 World Cup that are recommended by Fifa.

“One of the things was the infrastructure development, getting participation and there was a point emphasizing creating more competitions, small-sided games like three-a-side, five-a-side, six-a-side. I think those kind of games and creating tournaments at the competitive level will make a lot of difference,” added Chauhan.

The India international who also has her own football academy for girls, says running the academy has been a completely new experience for her.

“It is a different kind of role that it is giving me various kinds of experiences off the field now. I am enjoying the journey. It is very different to what I have experienced on the field,” said the 27-year-old.

“I think every field has its own challenges. We have to agree that like most of the other industries, the Indian football industry is also a predominantly male dominated industry.

“So trying to get into that system, trying to make a contribution and helping in the development of women’’s football or football in general is challenging, it comes with a lot of obstacles and obviously for me as a player, it’’s been a complete transition,” she said.

(with PTI inputs)