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Melody Chanu is one of those seven selected Manipuri female footballers who had ensured her place in the final eleven of the national under-17 World Cup that is going on in Odhisha. Melody Chanu is a goalkeeper and she has already taken part in the group league match against Morocco. Despite being thrashed by 0-3 goals against Morocco, the 17-year-old custodian earned applause for having made some excellent saves. The football specialists who witnessed the match have agreed that the Indian women’s team would have conceded more goals had Melody not made those superb saves.
Melody Chanu | The Defender Turned Goalkeeper
Melody Chanu resides in the village, around 10 kilometers distant from Manipur’s capital Imphal. Her father is a farmer and her mother is a housewife and Melody has two more siblings. Despite severe financial crises Melody became passionate about football since her childhood and participated first in the under-14 district competition. She was primarily moved for the game by her elder brother who also used to play football in their locality. Melody started playing as a defender. Then she joined Young Welfare Club, her first prominent football club. There she turned to the goalkeeper from a defender. Melody revealed while talking over the phone,
“The first goalkeeper of that club was absent before our team’s one crucial match. The coach asked me to play under bars and it was the first time I played as a goalkeeper. I had no idea about the techniques of goalkeeping. But Later the club coach taught me the basics of goalkeeping. I used to train for more than one-and-half hours even after the team’s practice got finished.”
Hope Solo is a motivation
In a bid to improve her goalkeeping Melody nowadays often watch the training and match videos of legendary USA female goalkeeper Hope Solo. Melody said,
“I watch the training videos of Hope Solo, and try to adopt her fitness program while practicing with my club team. She is an amazing goalkeeper.”
Hope Solo was one of the key members of her national team that won three World Cups and this 41-year-old custodian also received two Olympics gold medals. She was awarded the best goalkeeper in the 2011 World Cup.
Melody has not yet participated in the final phase of the Indian Women’s League (IWL). Rather she has experience in participating in IWL qualifiers. Commenting on her immediate desire, Melody stated,
“I want to become a professional footballer and play for any club that takes part in IWL final phase. But I have to be more consistent to achieve that.” Melody who also was in the Indian team that toured Italy to take part in the 6th Torneo Football Championship and Nordic Championship added, “The exposure trip and participation in two championships helped me a lot to improve as the goalkeeper.”
The Ultimate Dream of Melody Chanu
Melody Chanu dreams of representing any female club outside India. She said,
“I want to don a European club shirt, at least for once as Soumya Guguloth and Jyoti Chauhan are playing for Croatian giants Dinamo Zagreb.”
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