My goal is to ensure that the girls go on to play football for the Indian team - Marcellus John Aleckal, Co-Founder of Bodyline Sports Club


My goal is to ensure that the girls go on to play football for the Indian team - Marcellus John Aleckal, Co-Founder of Bodyline Sports Club
2021-11-30 12:30 PM
0 min read

With women’s football coming to the forefront in mainstream media, the interest in the sport at the grassroots is steadily growing in India. Despite women’s football still being at a rudimentary stage in the country, tournaments that help participants showcase their talents are becoming more common by the day and it’s only a matter of time before more opportunities are available for aspiring female footballers in India.

In this exclusive interview with SPOGO, Mr. Marcellus John Aleckal, Co-Founder of Bodyline Sports Club speaks about what inspired him to create an all-girls football club, his coaching style, the influence of Women’s I-League to promote football amongst young girls, growth and evolution of women’s football in India and his future goals.

Q 1) What inspired you to create Bodyline FC as an all-girls football club?

When I was playing as a young player, I noticed that there was no women’s football team at all, this inspired me to give an opportunity and a platform for women’s football as they can enhance their skill and build a team to play in the Mumbai district.

Q 2) How would you describe your coaching style?

When I started coaching the team they were a bit scared of the ball and I tried to instill in them the concept of possession based football so that they are in total control of the game and get more chances to score goals. In short, I prefer to play possession based football.

Q 3) How has the Women’s I-League helped promote football among aspiring young female football players?

It has inspired a lot of women all over the country. Four years ago when I heard about the tournament starting, I was really happy because it is a nationwide platform for female footballers to showcase their talent. It eventually made things very easy for the national team selection as the coaches selected players based on their I-League performances. In the first I-league when the Bodyline Sports Club had qualified, I had taken four players from Sikkim to play for the club in Odisha. One of whom was Anju Tamang who had never played for Sikkim but played for Bodyline and she now plays for the national side which makes me very happy.

Also read: I believe inspiration comes from within and drives you to achieve your goals - Indian taekwondo athlete Kashish Malik

Q 4) Do you believe there are sufficient avenues for the growth of women’s football in India?

Currently there are a lot of tournaments happening which means more and more promotion for women's football. A lot of these tournaments are at the grassroot or local level. Like in Mumbai, there are 2-3 tournaments happening every month. There are a lot of opportunities to explore the talent in women's football. In the past that was not the case but things are changing now.

Q 5) What are the differences between the women’s football scenario back when you started Bodyline Sports club and now?

Two and a half decades back when we started in 1997, there were hardly five or six teams playing including mine which is run by me along with a few of my fellow coaches. Now if you see, in the Mumbai district there are 24 teams and that's a big jump. Nowadays every school has their football team and are promoting women’s football.

Q 6) What are your goals for Bodyline Sports Club in 2022?

The goal for 2022 is to win the Mumbai district football tournament and the main target for Bodyline Sports club is that the girls go on to play for the Indian team.