Head coach Phillips says that Nepal is likely to be selected for Asian Cup

Photo Courtesy: ANFA

Kathmandu: Newly appointed head coach of the Nepali national women’s team Gary Phillips has said that the women’s team is likely to play in the AFC Asian Cup.

The All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) on Thursday appointed Gary Phillips, an Australian national who is also the technical director of ANFA, as the head coach of the women’s team on the proposal of the technical committee.

Phillips will now take over as coach of the vacant women’s team for more than a year. After being appointed coach, Phillips said he was serious about the job. Stating that the future of Nepali women’s football is good, he said that there is a possibility of playing in the AFC Asian Cup to be held in India next year.

In a conversation with ANFA, Phillips said, “I take this job seriously. I was also interested in it. That’s why we have a great opportunity to develop football. Women players have represented Nepal well. Became a national league. New players have arrived. There are exciting talents. There is an opportunity to be selected in the AFC Cup. ‘

The Asian Cup is being held in India in January 2022. In which 12 teams will participate. India has been selected as the organizer. Similarly, Japan, Australia and China, which are in the top three in the 2018 edition, have also been directly selected.

The AFC Cup qualifiers for the remaining eight places will now take place from September 13 to 25, 2021. In which Nepal is also playing. The qualifying round is scheduled for September. ANFA has also bid to organize a group selection game.

Coach Phillips said he plans to move on from now on. He said that the best players would be selected from the national league and they would be given monthly training. He said that he would start the camp by selecting players. “We plan to implement a training philosophy that uses some different methods,” Phillips said. “The team is ready for camp by next month.”

After that, good level players will be selected, he said. He said that 23 players would be selected in the end. He said that training will be done every month and young players will also be included.

Phillips sees a bright future for Nepali women’s football. He said that he would go to all the states from the grassroots to find the best talents. “We want to develop women players from the grassroots. It is to make a good player according to the system and process. The future of women’s football is bright. That’s our responsibility, ’Phillips said,‘ we look at the players in all the provinces and watch the talents. We recognize them and give them opportunities. ‘

Phillips understands that Nepali women’s football is good in Asia. Phillips had previously coached the Papua New Guinea women’s team. ‘Nepal is good in Asia. There are 12 teams in the Asian Cup. We are in the top 15 in Asia. Phillips said. There is a lot of desire to be selected in the ACN Cup, ‘he said.

Similarly, Phillips said that it was disappointing that Savitra Bhandari Samba was injured. ‘It is disappointing that Samba was injured. I’m not happy “She is a good player,” Phillips said of Samba. “She can play in the Australian League. If not in Europe, she can play in any league in Asia. The good thing about her is that she helps develop other players around her. ‘

Phillips said he would miss Samba and hoped he would get better soon and return to the field soon. “Our goal is the Asian Cup and we hope that Samba will return to the game,” he said.

Samba has been injured in a game against the police in the National League. Her ACL is torn and she has to undergo surgery. Samba will be out for at least 9 months. She was declared the best forward with 43 goals in the league.