Guwahati: Mizoram’s Cindy Remruatpuii Colney, whose video of juggling the football effortlessly wearing kitten heels in 2021 garnered thousands of views, has found a place in the national U-17 women’s team.
Cindy was named among the 23-member squad for the AFC Women’s U17 Asian Cup Qualifier Round 1 tournament in the Kyrgyz Republic.
Cindy, who has played in various state and national-level championships, including the prestigious Subroto Cup and the 2021 Khelo India Youth Games (KIYG), shot to prominence after nailing the “keepy-uppy online challenge” wearing high heels in 2021.
Born in a football-loving family in Aizawl, Cindy grew up learning the tricks of the trade from her father and coach Lalbiaksanga Colney, and ever since wanted to break the stereotypes of the patriarchal society.
“I wanted to show that everyone can play football whether it is a boy or a girl,” she had said in an earlier interview.
Coming back to the tournament in the Kyrgyz Republic, India is placed in Group F and will take on the hosts on April 26 before taking on Myanmar on April 28 in Bishkek. As many as eight players on the side are from the North East region. The Young Tigresses were last in action at the SAFF U-17 Women’s Championship, in Dhaka.
According to the All India Football Federation (AIFF), India has been in camp since January: first in Chennai and recently in Indore. In February, the team travelled to Jordan to play two friendly matches against the hosts, winning both 7-0 and 6-0.
Last month, the Indian girls took part in the SAFF U-17 Women’s Championship in Dhaka, where they finished in third place behind winners Russia and runners-up Bangladesh.
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The much-cooler Kyrgyz weather could be a challenge for the Indian team, but with three days still to go until the first match, there’s plenty of time to acclimatise, according to head coach Priya PV. The head coach is also banking on support from Indian students in Bishkek who thronged the Dolen Omurzakov Stadium stadium in numbers to watch the senior Indian women’s team during the AFC Women’s Olympic Qualifiers earlier this month.
Kyrgyz Republic and Myanmar will play the first match of Group F on Monday. The group winner will make it to the second round of the qualifiers, which will be played in September 2023.
Forwards: Kajal Kumari, Shilji Shaji, Pooja
Midfielders: Nongmeikapam Shibani Devi, Lourembam Menaka Devi, Shivani Toppo, Babita Kumari, Cindy Remruatpuii Colney, Shveta Rani, Sulanjana Raul, Remi Thokchom, Lalita Boypai
Defenders.: Yendrembam Thoi Thoi Devi, Toijam Thoibisana Chanu, Heena Khatun, Vikshit Bara, Juhi Singh, Akhila Rajan, Arya Anilkumar, Irom Sonibia Devi
Goalkeepers: Sarangthem Khambi Chanu, Anisha Oraon, Khushi Kumari
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