India face Malaysia, USA take on Tanzania in AIFF Youth Cup
The tournament is in preparation for the U-17 World Cup which will be held in India and Goa is going to be one of the venues.
Head coach of the Indian U-17 World Cup squad, Nicolai Adam said this tournament will act as a yardstick for the development of youth teams.
The five-nation tournament which includes hosts India, USA, Korea Republic, Malaysia and Tanzania, is the first-of-its -kind competition organised by the All India Football Federation in order to provide exposure to the young players of the country.
These youngsters are expected to feature in the AFC U-16 in September, also to be hosted by Goa, followed by the World Cup in 2017.
Speaking at the official pre-tournament press conference the coach said: “Our main goal is to prepare for the FIFA U-17 World Cup and the AFC U-16 Championship which commences this year in September.”
“For us, the AIFF Youth Cup gives us great exposure, helping us to accumulate experience under our belts. The boys are looking forward and are very motivated to give it their all,” he added. “We have a couple of injuries but it gives other players an opportunity to prove themselves in the team,” stated Nicolai. He further said, “The squad assembled in Goa on April 5 after the trip from South Africa, as the players had to be released for schooling purposes.”
Though Nicolai has been in charge for over a year, some of the boys have been practicing at the AIFF Academy since 2014.