The Manipuri defender hopes to realize her dream by representing India in the upcoming AFC Women’s Asian Cup…
Shilky Devi of Manipur is only 15 years old. However, she has been called by Thomas Dennerby, the coach of the Indian women’s national team, to the ongoing preparations for the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup.
The Swedish tactician trained her during her tenure as the U17 women’s coach. Her performance in the youth team left him so impressed that he did not hesitate to allow her to compete with people like Acharata Devi. (Ashalata Devi) and Sanju (Sanju) and other mainstay predecessors brushed shoulders across the Indian defense.
This teenager had an interesting childhood. Unlike many other players, Hilki is fortunate to have a father who supports him at Hemam Suresh Singh. He is a football fan himself and supports her daughter rain or shine.
“When I was young, I played football with boys. There were not many girls in the village. My father had no problem. He gave me a lot of encouragement. In my hometown, there is an academy where I studied. But soon I moved. I went to SAI (Sports Authority of India) Imphal and trained there for a year,” she told Target.
However, she quickly entered the professional setting and started playing for Manipur’s Rantabal Club, where she was trained by coach Sulmala. She started as a striker and it was her livelihood to score goals.
In the 2018-19 Asian Youth Women’s National Football Championship, she scored the winning goal against Odisha and helped Manipur raise the title. Her scoring ability also continues to play a role on the international stage. The Indian U15 team used captain Shilky’s hat trick to defeat Sri Lanka 12-0 to start the 2018 SAFF U-15 Championship. In the semi-finals, she scored again and defeated Bhutan 1-0 to secure her seat in the finals. She ended the game as the combined top scorer and India won the championship.
Shilky continued to advance by leaps and bounds, and she was voted the most promising player in the 2019 Tri-Nation U17 International, Sweden and Thailand. However, under the leadership of Danaby, she has transformed herself into a defender, and from the start of scoring, she has mastered the art of preventing them from moving forward.
“I like to score goals and I will imitate Neymar’s celebration. But now I like to follow Sergio Ramos because I am a central defender,” she said. With this, she is also adapting to the more rigorous training courses of the national team.
“I used to train under Sir Danaby’s guidance earlier, but the training intensity is very different from that of the senior team. We have to run more and train more intensely.”
Although she is learning the art of maintaining a defensive state, shooting is still her favorite part of her training program. Nevertheless, she knew that to be selected for the Asian Cup final, she must mature as a defender.
“I have a lot to improve defensively. I need to adjust my tackle timing, as well as other aspects. We have good facilities in Jharkhand, such as gyms, good training grounds, and I must fully Use this opportunity. I need to be selected for the Indian team first. This is my main goal,” she said firmly.
When the 2020 FIFA U17 World Cup was cancelled, Hilkie was disappointed. However, the recruitment of the national team brought fresh air to her ambitions and ambitions. Undoubtedly, it is a difficult task for a teenager to break into the 23-man lineup of the Asian Cup final, but considering her career trajectory, it is not surprising if she advances to the final.