Indian women’s team coach Mayamol Rocky thinks her side should emulate the on-field attitude of American forward Megan Rapinoe, who won the Golden Boot and the Golden Ball during the 2019 World Cup.
Rocky, the first women’s head coach, during a video chat with All India Football Federation, said that she was impressed by the forward when they met in France last year.
“I had a small chat with Megan,” Rocky said. “Her attitude was simply amazing. She is one of the best players in the game but she not arrogant or egoistic at all. But she had all the attitude around her. She has put in all the hard work to get to where she is today.”
Apart from having a long and illustrious career at the top, Rapinoe has earned widespread appreciation for campaigning for equal pay, gay rights, and also stood in solidarity with NFL player Colin Kaepernick, who took a knee to protest against police brutality in the US.
“I tell my players that we should also have that same kind of attitude. She’s an absolute role model for young girls out there,” Rocky added.
The 40-year-old said that she will be watching the Fifa U-17 World Cup games from the sidelines next year at home.
“I had gone there with my mentor as a part of the FIFA programme. Watching the matches, I was just thinking about how it would feel had our team been out there on the pitch.
“It would have been unforgettable. It’s going to be just that for the U-17 girls next year. I’ll, of course, be there to cheer them from the stands,” she said.
Rocky added: “As the senior team coach, I’m really looking forward to the U17 WWC. Surely, we’ll get some players for the Asian Cup 2022. When the base becomes stronger, scouting becomes tougher. We’ll get more players for every position.”
Rocky also scouts players when she is not coaching. Among the upcoming crop of players, the former India international mentioned Sweety Devi, Sandhiya Ranganathan and Manisha Kalyan as the ones to watch out for.
“I make it a point for all National Team players and aspirants to be part of the Hero IWL. Not only do they play against National Team players, but the youngsters get to test themselves against the seniors,” she said.