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India women's football team head coach Thomas Dennerby picked a 23-woman squad for the upcoming AFC Women's Asian Cup, which is slated in the nation from January 20 onwards. The three venues for the tournament are Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, and Pune.

The players and support staff, who have already been camping in Kochi, Kerala since the team’s return from Brazil, will fly out to Mumbai on Thursday, January 13.

India have been drawn against IR Iran (January 20), Chinese Taipei (January 23) and China PR (January 26) in Group A of the competition that consists of 12 teams.

With as many as 15 players under the age of 25 in the relatively young squad, Dennerby believes that it would “the youngsters and the experienced bunch can help each other out, both on and off the pitch”.

“We have a good bunch of young players, and some experienced heads too. The young ones are hungry to prove themselves, so that brings in a good level of energy and healthy competition for places,” Dennerby said. “But it also works the other way round -- as the experienced players can guide the young ones in different things both on and off the pitch.”

The coach also maintained that the team is approaching “one game at a time”.

“If you start thinking too much about permutations and combinations, that can take a toll on the way you play the game. The coaches can do all the thinking that we can, but for the players, it’s all about going out there and playing well on the day. Football is a ‘beautiful game,’ and you need to live in the moment to play it well,” he said.

The final list of 23 registered players as follows (jersey numbers in brackets):

GOALKEPEER Aditi Chauhan (1), Maibam Linthoingambi Devi (23), Sowmiya Narayanasamy (19).

DEFENDER Dalima Chhibber (17), Sweety Devi Ngangbam (2), Ritu Rani (21), Loitongbam Ashalata Devi (4), Manisa Panna (3), Hemam Shilky Devi (5), Sanju Yadav (8).

MIDFIELDER Yumnam Kamala Devi (6), Anju Tamang (9), Karthika Angamuthu (20), Nongmeithem Ratanbala Devi (7), Naorem Priyangka Devi (14), Indumathi Kathiresan (12).

FORWARD Manisha Kalyan (16), Grace Dangmei (11), Pyari Xaxa (10), Renu (15), Sumati Kumari (22), Sandhiya Ranganathan (13), Mariyammal Balamurugan (18).

HEAD COACH Thomas Dennerby.
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