Indian Women's Team goalkeeper Aditi Chauhan received lavish praise for her performance against The Netherlands in the first exhibition match in Navi Mumbai on Jan 17. In an interview, the 20-year old B.Com Honours student spoke about her biggest match till date, how she always keeps her confidence level high, the job at hand and much more. Excerpts:
How did you become a goalkeeper?
I was into sports from my school days. I played my school in zonal and inter zonal tournaments in basketball. At that time, there was a trial camp in Delhi for women's football. Goalkeeping had always fascinated me and I prepared for it for a week. Eventually, I got selected.
How are the preparations going on for the next match?
We stay more confident after the last match. We believe we can win. Once you have got a feel of things and played well against a much fancied opponent, you start aiming high.
What is your assessment of the Dutch women's team?
They are good. But we matched their level and at times, we were better. We have to convert the chances that come our way. The important thing stayed that we were never overawed by their rankings. However, they are physically strong and taller. But we need to take them as just another opponent.
Were you bogged down after conceding the early goal?
You need to learn and correct yourselves from the past. AS you saw in the match, we shrugged it off fast and moved on with the match. Most may believe conceding an early goal is a setback but at the same time, it inspires a team to come back strongly.
Does playing a much higher ranked country help?
Immensely! This has to be my biggest match till date. Previously we were facing opponents with equal or lesser footing. We scored 11, 12 goals per match in the SAFF Championships. That tells the story. Tough competition is very important to improve our standards, and I am very happy the AIFF has organised the two Friendlies.
(Image courtesy: AIFF Media)