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2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup bound India team set for numerous exposure trips

India U-16 national team

India U-16 national team

Keeping an eye on the India U-17 national team’s preparation for the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup, the All India Football Federation’s Special Technical Committee met in Bangalore on Saturday.

The Committee comprising of AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das, AIFF Technical Director Rob Baan, national coach Wim Koevermans, national team captain Sunil Chhetri and noted coach Derrick Pereira discussed at length the path to form a competitive Indian squad for the mega event.

However, AIFF Technical Committee Chairman and former Indian national team captain Baichung Bhutia couldn’t attend the meeting for personal reasons.

Highlighting the significance of proper scouting for the World Cup, Kushal Das made a presentation on the scouting procedure for the AIFF U-17 World Cup Academies which would essentially happen from the forthcoming Coca-Cola Cup. The Coca-Cola Cup, an inter-school tournament, would be followed by the National Championships, scheduled to kick-off by the end of July and to end in November 2014.

The General Secretary also presented a plan on conducting an U-15 Youth League across the country. Besides the AIFF Academies, the proposed league would consist of I-League clubs, ISL franchises, invitational academies, 2nd Division clubs – all to augment the talent for the AIFF U-17 World Cup Academies.

AIFF Technical Director Rob Baan also laid down a detailed plan on the preparation of the India U-17 national team leading to the World Cup. Baan stressed that the team should be sent on minimum three exposure tours per year in international tournaments and play at least, minimum 40 competitive matches in a calendar year.

Baan stressed the exposure trips should be held in various continents like Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America for the team to get used to the tactics, attitude and style of play of various sides, all of which would play an important role in the World Cup.

Das also mentioned that India is bidding for the AFC U-16 Championship Finals in 2016 which would help to evaluate the preparation of the team as well as of the venues.

The meeting ended on a very positive note with a mandate to meet immediately after the completion of the Coca-Cola Cup.

(Report & Picture courtesy AIFF Media)