New Delhi, July 20:
India’s Under-16 football squad, presently preparing in Goa for the FIFA 2017 U-17 World Cup, will leave early on Tuesday for an extensive exposure tour to Germany for almost two months.
The trip would be followed by the AFC U-16 Qualifiers in Tabriz City, Iran, from where the colts would proceed to Spain to compete in the AGS Cup in the third week of September.
The stay for the preparatory process for the 24-member squad in Germany has been organised in close association with the German football association (DFB). During their stay, the Indian colts will be playing a minimum of 15-16 practice matches including ones against youth teams of Bayern Munich and RB Salzburg amongst others.
All India Football Federation (AIFF) general secretary Kushal Das highlighted AIFF’s objective in providing “best possible” exposure for the squad.
“We had already mentioned the squad will embark on a series of exposure tours all round the globe in different footballing environments. Germany have been synonymous with youth development and training at venues having the best of facilities and playing with some of the best youth teams will help in the development of our World Cup squad,” he said.
“I would also like to thank DFB for their support. This is the first of many more exposure yours to follow for the colts.”
India U-17 World Cup head coach Nicolai Adam felt the trip will “help the team in the long run”.
“The preparation in Germany before the AFC U-16 Qualifiers will be good for the boys. The AFC Qualifiers will be tough with Iran, Bahrain and Lebanon in our Group,” he said.
“After the Qualifiers, there was always a temptation of coming back to India as the boys would be out for long. But during my previous stint with Azerbaijan, I have been at the AGS Cup and stay aware of the level of competition it offers. Many international youth teams take that as a platform to prepare for their European rounds. It will be huge for the boys.” (IANS