Gangtok: Lako Phuti Bhutia, member of the victorious Indian team, who won the 3rd SAFF Women's Championship 2014 last week, finds it a hard earned honour to wear the nation's jersey.
"It is a matter of great pride and honour for me to wear the Indian Women's football team jersey and be a member of the winning team at the 3rd SAFF Women's Championship 2014," the powerful right-back of the team said today.
"I had set the target for myself to play for the country in the SAFF championship and it was with this goal in mind I worked. When I achieved it, every drop of sweat and every sacrifice were worth it," she said.
The 21-year-old player is back home in West Sikkim on a month-long break after having played for the country at the 3rd SAFF Women's Championship in Islamabad.
Lako Phuti, younger sister of Nima Lhamu who had preceded her to the Indian women's football team, said the SAFF Women's Championship was her second opportunity to play in the senior women's football team as her debut was in the year 2012 when she played for the senior team in the AFC qualifiers in Palestine.
It was only in Islamabad that she was part of the national squad for an entire tournament.
The 21-year-old said that she wanted to set an example and disprove people who think that girls could not play sports at a professional level. "I want to make a career out of football and in the process encourage more girls to take their football to higher levels," she said.