Hemam Shilky Devi is a part of the Indian women’s football team for the AFC Women’s Cup 2022. This talented footballer will be the youngest football player in the continental tournament at the age of 16 years and 2 months.
Shilky Devi is the defender in the 15 member football team from India that qualified for Asia Women’s Cup 2022 and their Head Coach is Thomas Dennerby. All the players are in fact quite young as all of them are below 25 years of age and the team’s average age is 23.13 years. The team will begin its Asia Women’s Cup campaign on January 20 and their first match will be with IR Iran. Their next match will be on January 23 against Chinese Taipei and on January 26 against China PR.
Who Is Shilky Devi?
Shilky was born in a small Manipur village named Moirang on November 23, 2005. She got acquainted with football at a very young age and has come through the SAI Academy at Imphal. In a world that thinks that football is not for women, Shily is breaking the norms and proving it wrong.
Suggested Reading: Five Indian Paralympic Sportswomen Who Won Our Hearts In 2021
Even though Shilky used to get advice from the society and her mother to focus on her studies instead of sports, Shilky was reportedly supported by her father to go ahead with the game. Shilky is the captain of U-17 Indian women’s football team. She made her senior debut against Brazil in 2021. Shilky is not the only player in the Indian team who is from the U-19 National Team. There are 3 other players from U-19 National Team as well, namely, Sumati Kumari, Priyangka Devi and Mariyammal Balamurugan.
For Shilky Devi, playing with the seniors is a great learning experience. “To make the jump to the senior level, you have to work harder, not just on the pitch, but off it as well. We see the seniors maintaining so much discipline just to get that extra yard on the pitch, and that really rubs off on us. Every day is a learning experience for me here,” said Shilky.
Shilky is followed by Helsya Maeisyaroh of Malaysia in the list of youngest football player in Asia Women’s Cup 2022. Helsya is 16 years 8 months old. Shilky is the only player from U-19 squad in the Indian team who is also eligible to play FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup. Shilky thinks that her experience and knowledge that she will gather from the seniors will be beneficial to her and her team in the U-17 World Cup.