Anju Tamang – I want to lift the IWL trophy


Indian international midfielder Anju Tamang has been prepping herself to ply her trade for her new club Odisha FC alongside national squad teammates Bala Devi, Pyari Xaxa, Sweety Devi & others for the upcoming Indian Women’s League 2023.

Recently, Anju was in the spotlight after a string of phenomenal performances in the recently concluded first round of the AFC Women’s Olympic Qualifiers. She also starred in the SAFF Women’s Championship in 2022, memorably scoring a sensational poker against Maldives.

Anju Tamang - I want to lift the IWL trophy licensed image
Credits – Getty Images

Ahead of Odisha’s opener against CRPF on 27th, the incredibly versatile midfielder sat down with us for an exclusive chat. Here are some excerpts from the interaction.

The Indian Women’s League will help us to gain confidence in the form of game time, which a player needs the most,” she says. The current iteration of the IWL is set to see 16 teams battle it out in two groups. This will be followed by the playoffs.

Odisha FC have put together an enviable squad. Anju stresses on the relationship between the players, saying, “We have a good mixture of senior players & youngsters. We are bonding well here as a team, so it automatically gives a feeling that we are going to gel well on the field too.

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Quick with her feet, Anju made her debut for Indian National Team in 2017. Later, she joined Rising Student Club the same year for the Indian Women’s League & clinched the trophy too. Last season, she went very close with Sethu FC but lost out in the final to Gokulam Kerala.

Regarding being touted as the favourites, Anju remarks, “I want to lift that trophy with the team. As I said, the players we have in the team make us fan favourites.”

Chrispin Chhetri has been with the squad as the Head Coach ever since its unveiling. He has a deep connect with the state, having led them with vigour in the 2022 edition of the State Championships 2022. “He (Crispin Chhetri) is a very good instructor & a coach. He makes it possible for us to understand how we should be tactically. Communication is always the key in football and he has that ability to communicate effectively.”, Anju said.

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There’s no such personal target I have set. We all have roles to play and if we do it well surely the results will favour us,” Anju smiles and answers when asked about her role in the team and objectives that she sets in front of herself.

Anju’s versatility makes her a promising player in numerous ways. Her game and positional awareness make her available for the team to rely on her for some important situations in the match.

The IWL needs to be expanded & conducted in a more planned manner,” she expressed. The league has had its fair share of criticism due to inadequate broadcasting.

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Odisha has no shortage of fans when it comes to football. Anju expects some good backing as they make their way for the premier footballing competition for women in the country. “Fans show support in numerous ways and I want them to back up until the end of the campaign.

Placed in group B, Odisha FC will start their Indian Women’s League campaign against Central Reserve Police on Thursday at TransStadia, Ahmedabad.

Follow IFTWC for the latest updates on Indian Football.

Shrivatsa Joglekar
Shrivatsa Joglekar
A passionate Indian football lover from Kolhapur, Maharashtra. Tried my hands at writing, loved it and never looked back!

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