Image Credits: FISTO STAFF

  • May
  • 20

From Nepal to Chennai: Interview with Sethu FC and Nepal international midfielder Anita Basnet

Author Image Ritwik Majumder

22-year-old attacking midfielder Anita Basnet is another young talent coming through the ranks of Nepal. The club was impressed with Anita after seeing her performance in SAFF Championship held in Nepal & Olympic qualifiers held in Myanmar.


Anita has settled well at Sethu FC since joining and her belief is fuelling her ambition.


Excerpts from the interview


When you started playing football and how you got a start to your career?


I started my football career in the year 2013 and in the next year, getting a chance to serve my country helped me to start my professional football career quickly in Nepal. I always looked upon other popular women’s players and always tried to replicate their style in my own game.


How was women’s football in Nepal when you started playing?


When I started playing the game, I was backed and supported by everyone, especially my family and my club. I always gazed at the senior players of my club and country and I aspired to be a part of them. Anu Lama was always my hero since the time I started playing professional football and always dreamed of playing by her side and I am glad to have achieved it now.


Who is that one person who has always been an influence with football in your life?


I would like to give credits to my coach Hari Kharkha. He is currently the head coach of our national team and has been a very successful player himself. He is the one who helped me, change my life completely as a football player as he is technically a very sound player and coach.  



Did you follow Indian Women’s League (IWL) back at Nepal? How you felt about it?


When I heard about Indian Women’s League (IWL) for the first time, I was in Maldives for a Futsal Championship. As I started watching it and following it, the interest for playing in IWL gradually started growing in me. This is how I came to know about the league and I was also impressed by the quality of football the league offered.


What are your views about the competition level in the IWL?


India is a huge country owing to which the competition level in this country has to be huge as well. Previously there were only 6 teams, but the inclusion of more teams this season will definitely give a hard time to all the players and the teams as well.


How do you like India and what are the things you are experiencing here?


India has got a very hot climate compared to Nepal which makes playing football more challenging. As I have mentioned before that India is huge owing to which, there is a diverse culture here. People in Chennai don’t speak Hindi much but what I believe is with diverse culture and language, comes diverse playing styles and techniques. I believe that is one of the driving factors for India’s recent success in the international championships.



What was your family’s reaction when they came to know that you are coming to India for playing a domestic league here?


My parents were extremely happy when they heard about the news for the first time. They advised me to play better than what I play in Nepal as it is a new place for me where no one has seen me playing. They were a bit concerned about the hot climate in India and asked me to take the most care about it as it can worsen my health conditions which will have an impact in my game on the pitch.


How do you compare the differences between Indian football and Nepalese football?


Both India and Nepal have very different playing styles and also the football infrastructure is also quite different. But according to me India has an upper hand over Nepal because of their vast experience in this field and also due to their technical side of the game. One striking factor about India is its excellent concern and plans for women’s football in the country. The idea of IWL is itself evident to support my statement and the plans for making it big every year is what players like us want to see.



How do you think you will be benefitted after your participation in the IWL?


As a player I think it will be really beneficial on my part. As I mentioned before India’s football experience and technique is very sound and playing as a part of India’s league will provide me with that also. I am getting a rare opportunity to share the dressing room with Indian stars in my first season. This will definitely give me an opportunity to follow these stars from close and learn their style of play and the techniques they induce in their game is what I want to take from them.


What you think about Sethu FC’s chances of winning the IWL this season?


Sethu FC got an excellent set of players this season, we got talent and experience in the right proportion in the team which I believe will replicate in our performance on the pitch. I am confident with the team and believe that we can lift the cup this season. We have unique combination of national and international players in the team from which we can be benefited to a great extent.  


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