Shillong, Apr 18: Indian women’s football team captain Ashalata Devi has signed for Tamil Nadu-based Sethu FC ahead of the Indian Women’s League 2018-19 final round, which will begin early next month.

Devi made the announcement in a Facebook post today.

The defender played for KRYPHSA of Manipur last season. KRYPHSA went out of the tournament in the semifinals of the final round, which was held in Shillong. Sethu were also losing semifinalists last year.

KRYPHSA will not be in the final round of this season’s edition of the IWL, which has doubled the number of teams in the crunch end of the competition. Last year seven teams battled in a single group in Shillong. This time 14 teams have been split into two groups. The tournament will run from 5th May to 22nd May in Ludhiana, Punjab. Two North East teams will be in the running – Manipur Police and Tripura Sports School.

Women’s leagues organised by state federations acted as the qualifiers this season, with the champions of the state leagues awarded a place in the IWL final round.

Group A consists of reigning champions Rising Students Club, Central SSB, FC Alakhpura, Gokulam Kerala, Hans Women’s FC, Panjim Footballers and Tripura Sports School.

Group B consists of Bangalore United FC, Baroda Football Academy, CRPF, FC Kolhapur, Manipur Police, SAI-STC Cuttack and Sethu.

(TSR file photo of Ashalata Devi in the 2017-18 Indian Women’s League)

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