Muthu has played for her country and been on regular starter for the club, but she admits in an exclusive interview that Sethu FC is playing an important part in her development.
Here she talks about her footballing journey so far, what lessons were learned by the club in the last season at IWL and her own personal career targets.
When you started playing football and how were the initial years like?
I started my football career from my school days, being part of the school team from my 7th grade. My schooling was at Dindugal, Girls Govt. Higher Sec.School, Dindugal and eventually, after getting into the school team my interest in football started to grow.
Who is your biggest support when it comes to football?
My initial years for the game was not very eventful and I mostly had to carry my dreams alone as there were not many supporters of mine who would understand my needs and guide me to the dream I started dreaming.
For my family it’s just a game, but slowly they started having confidence in me that I can actually grow big with football. I am extremely grateful to Noelin John ma’am, my school P.E.Teacher, she has shaped me into what I am today.
When did that fire ignite? When was it that you knew you were made for the sport?
During my 11th grade, my school coach Gokila ma’am were impressed with my playing and trained us with an aim of winning the state gold. St.Mary’s Girls Higher Secondary School, Salem was on the verge of state champion for the record 10th time, the match was going for a penalty but at the last-kick of the game we scored from a corner to cancel out their win and emerged as champions, which made me believe that if I continue to play like I did, I could look forward to a bright future where football is concerned.
How do you think Sethu FC changed your lifestyle?
Sethu FC has recognized us and has given us an opportunity to portray and showcase our talents at such big levels. I am extremer my grateful to them for taking a chance on me. The club places a lot of emphasis on the basics and on technique. We work very hard on play with couple of touches, nothing sort of unwanted dribbling involved and coach intensively in these areas.
How has women’s football progressed since you first started playing and how do you think it can improve further?
The conditions are better, more and more professionals, with more sponsors, and that is precisely the way to improve, with the commitment of clubs and federations, with sponsors support, with more space in the media that makes us reach more people and grow women’s football in India step by step.
Did you have any sporting heroes growing up? Someone you looked up to?
Of course growing up there were many athletes that I looked up to. But Bernard Mendy was the one really caught my eyes and ever since I have been a big fan of him. He is kind of a defender, who could read the game like nobody else, intelligent, solid passing, good in the air and always so calm on the ball.
What techniques do you employ to keep focused for the full 90 minutes?
I think each minute, till the final whistle is blown is really important and being on the feet and fighting is really inevitable.
If you were to set yourself one objective this year, what would it be?
At the last two IWL tournaments we’ve made it to the semi finals and not quite progressed so we know we’re capable – it’s just taking it a step further. We’ve grown so much as a team since then. It’s quite exciting because looking back we probably exceeded expectations and performed as well as we possibly could but we’re at another level now – another level of belief and confidence.
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