Another exhilarating season of the Indian Women’s Football League (IWL) is here. The tournament is set to kick off on December 8th, with defending champions Gokulam Kerala FC taking on Sethu FC at the EMS Corporation Stadium. It is going to be no less than a clash of titans as these two teams battle it out in the opening match.
To give you all a summary ahead of the season with a new look format coming into play, the top tier in this edition of the IWL features some top-notch teams, including East Bengal FC, HOPS FC, Odisha FC, Kickstart FC, and Sports Odisha. Each team will bring their A-game to the field, showcasing their skills, strategy, and determination to clinch the title.
Talking about the defending Champions, Gokulam Kerala have faced a few departures along with incomings. On such departure has been their goal-scoring machine, Sabitra Bhandari, who has made a move away from the defending Champions. Sabitra’s absence will surely be felt, but Gokulam will surely hope that have other talented players ready to step up and fill the void.
On the positive side, Gokulam have all experienced Anju Tamang back after 3 years, while Ashalata Devi remains with the 3-time Champions. Along with this, the 3 foreigners available for Gokulam this season are Beatrice Nketia, Phoeby Okech, and Veronica Appiah adding more flare to the squad.
Looking at the other teams, there have been a few changes and alterations in the East Bengal squad during the transfer season one of which is of course experienced Indian National team defender Michel Castanha who has joined East Bengal from Gokulam Kerala. This addition will undoubtedly strengthen East Bengal’s defence and add valuable experience to their squad.
It is also heard that East Bengal who are in fiery form in the Kanyashree Cup and Calcutta Women’s Football League in Kolkata, are looking to strengthen their side with a few more sparkling talents from the state of Manipur, making them a worth watch and a strong competitor. Watch out for the youngster Sulanjana Raul, who has been firing in the local tournaments and for the U17 Indian team.
One clear thing is that this season’s IWL promises to be even better and bigger with even more competitiveness and to keep the spirits high Odisha FC who already have a strong side have now added Myanmar’s all-time top goal scorer, Win Theingi Tun to sharpen up their attack more.
One clear change in the IWL this season apart from the 7 team participation and the new structure is that all the previous editions of this tournament were played in centralized venues, but this year the teams will have to travel across the Nation in home and away format to add some more flavour to the competition.
What makes this edition of the IWL is that it will now be played for three long months starting from the 8th of December making it the biggest ever IWL season so far.
Briefly talking about the home venues of the teams, Gokulam Kerala will play their home matches in Kozhikode while East Bengal will play their home matches in Kolkata. On the other hand, HOPS FC adds the north to the scenario as they will play their home games in Delhi and Sethu FC’s new home will be in another football-loving region, Goa. Sports Odisha and Odisha FC will both play at Bhubaneswar and Kickstart FC will play their home games in Bangalore.
From Gokulam being unbeaten in 3 seasons with 27 wins and 2 draws out of 29 matches, to Odisha’s eagerness to perform after last season’s unfortunate exit with a squad filled with stars like Indian International Indumathi Kathiresan and from Dalima Chibber carrying hopes of Kickstart FC to a youth filled Sethu FC with the likes of Priyangka Devi and Apurna Narzary, this seasons IWL is packed with massive potential.
The least fans can expect intense matches, thrilling goals, and fierce competition throughout the season. It’s an exciting time for women’s football in India, and the IWL provides a platform for talented players to shine and inspire future generations.
So mark your calendars and get ready to cheer for your favourite team in the Indian Women’s Football League. It will be a season filled with unforgettable moments and incredible displays of skill. All the action will be live on Indian Football YouTube.
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