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Indian colts ready for the AFC U16 Championship

Colm Toal and the India U16 national team

Colm Toal and the India U16 national team

The Indian U16 national team has arrived in the Iranian capital of Tehran on Friday for the 2012 AFC U16 Championship. India will kick-off their campaign against Uzbekistan on Sunday.

The Indian team had a three-week Preparatory Camp in Dubai and the talented boys are well prepared to face Asia’s best in the two-week long tournament.

Colm Toal’s team will face Uzbekistan, Syria and China in Group D and the head coach is fully aware of the tough challenge ahead.

„Every country goes into a Championship hoping to be successful and win every match they play. It may sound cliché but we are taking one match at a time. But yeah, we will look to win the match for sure. We have played at this level in 2008. I can tell you this is a very difficult Championship and in 2008, we found out the competition was very tough,“ Toal told in an interview with the-aiff.com.

„At this level it’s not about results. Rather, it’s more about the developmental part. If you look at the squad of 2008, 17 of them are playing in the I-League at the moment and 5 have been in the National Camp with 3 having already made their debut. Three years down the line if we get some of the boys from this present U16 squad emulating it, I feel we have been successful.“

Talking about preparations, the coach continued: „The preparations have been good. We trained in Goa for three months without a break and played a practice match every Saturday. But back home, it’s very difficult to get the same level of competition. Prior to landing in Tehran, we played three practice matches in Dubai, two of which were against a very strong UAE U16 national side. We did lose both the matches by the odd goal but the performance of the boys was heartening given the difference in Rankings between the two teams.“

The Indian team will face Uzbekistan in their first match on Sunday and Toal is optimistic about the match. „We need to make an improvement from the last time we played them. I am very positive about the boys. They will do a good job and not let India down. We need to be competitive and we will.“

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2012 AFC U16 CHAMPIONSHIP | FIXTURES – INDIA

23.09.2012 | 15.00 local (17.00 IST | 13.30 CET | 12.30 GMT)
Uzbekistan v India
at Rah Ahan Stadium, Tehran

25.09.2012 | 15.00 local (17.00 IST | 13.30 CET | 12.30 GMT)
India v Syria
at Rah Ahan Stadium, Tehran

27.09.2012 | 13.00 local (15.00 IST | 11.30 CET | 10.30 GMT)
China v India
at Rah Ahan Stadium, Tehran

30.09.2012 | Quarterfinals

03.10.2012 | Semifinals

06.10.2012 | Final

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INDIA U16 SQUAD

Goalkeepers
Supratim Bhattacharjee (West Bengal), Avinash Kumar (Uttar Pradesh), Agaipal Singh (Punjab)

Defenders
Mohammed Sajid Dhot (Punjab), Gurba Gagrai (Jharkhand), Sarthak Golui (West Bengal), Jimmy Maibam (Manipur), Myron Mendes (Goa), Nabin Rabha (Assam), Vivekananda Sagayaraj (Karnataka), Manraj Singh (Punjab)

Midfielders
Geremsha Basumatary (Assam), Alen Deory (Assam), Hanan Javed (Kerala), Nitin Jyal (Uttarakhand), K. Lalramzuava (Chandigarh), Raja Rawat (Uttarakhand), Germanpreet Singh (Punjab), Issac Vanmalswama (Mizoram)

Forwards
Daniel Lalhlimpuia (Chandigarh), Uttam Rai (Sikkim), Kamalpreet Singh (Punjab), Vanlalduatsanga (Mizoram)

Officials
Colm Joseph Toal (Head Coach)