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Bhumika aims to be Maharashtra’s impact player at Sr Nationals

Updated on: 30 March,2023 11:02 AM IST  |  Uttarakhand
Sundari Iyer |

Mumbai girl Mane, who scored a brace in Maharashtra’s 5-1 win over Mizoram, says her team aim to go all out in their next match against Pondicherry on Friday

Bhumika aims to be Maharashtra’s impact player at Sr Nationals

Maharashtra's Bhumika Mane

After scoring a brace in Maharashtra's 5-1 win over Mizoram in the opening Group-II league match of the 27th Senior Women's National Football Championship in Haldwani (Uttarakhand) on Tuesday, young attacking midfielder Bhumika Mane hopes the side carry the winning momentum to the second group match against Pondicherry on Friday.

On Tuesday, at the IGIS Complex in Uttarakhand, the Sanaya Anklesaria-coached Maharashtra team opened the scoring in the 14th minute through Sapna Rajpure. They doubled the lead when Arya More found the back of the net in the 36th minute. Maharashtra scored the third goal in the second minute of the additional time to give them a 3-0 cushion at the break. On resumption, Mizoram's Deborah Lalenpuii scored their lone goal in the 52nd minute. Maharashtra's fourth goal was scored by Sanika Patil (55th minute) before Mane scored the fifth goal to complete the rout. 

Mane, 17, says her aim in this tournament is to gain experience playing with the seniors. Talking about the tie on Friday, Bhumika, 17, who is the youngest player in the squad, told, "Our victory over Mizoram was great. Thankfully, we won convincingly. The atmosphere in the team is very encouraging and supportive after the triumph [over Mizoram]. Now, we want to give our best and maintain the winning momentum, do whatever it takes to beat them [Pondicherry]." The Class 12 student of Guru Nanak Khalsa College said the team need to be cautious about Kerala. "They [Kerala] are a very strong side. Kerala beat Pondicherry 6-0 [on Tuesday]. That's the one team we need to play well tactically and ensure we do not give them any chance to score," said the Mahim-based player.

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She aspires to be the highest goalscorer of the tournament. "I may be the youngest player in my team, but after this brace [against Mizoram], I want to try and score as many goals as I can. Becoming the highest goalscorer in the tournament would be a cherry on the cake," remarked Mane, who trains at the Wings ground in Bandra.

Before signing off, the young footballer said she can't thank two of her coaches for her rise in the sport. "The most important people in my life as far as football is concerned are Sydney Alexander sir [from her first club Companeroes] and my father [Bharat], who is my first coach. Without them I would not have achieved whatever little I have till date," she explained. 

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