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India U-17 coach Nicolai Adam: We need to take the next step

Nicolai Adam (Head Coach, India U-17) and Kushal Das (General Secretary, AIFF)
Nicolai Adam (Head Coach, India U-17) and Kushal Das (General Secretary, AIFF)

Picture courtesy: AIFF Media

Speaking in his first-ever Media Interaction in India at a snazzy hotel in New Delhi on Thursday (April 23), the India U-17 National Team Head Coach for the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup Nicolai Adam announced that he was pleased to be appointed and urged for undivided support from everybody to turn India into a footballing nation.

“I am very pleased to be here as a Head Coach and also as a part of the project and that is to develop India into a footballing nation. That will never be possible without everyone’s support, including the media.”

“We need the crowd as that is one of the main reasons why we play football – the bigger the better. We want mass participation in football and need participation from everybody at all levels ranging from the fans to the players.”

“Given the resources, General Secretary Kushal Das, has done an amazing job. And now we need to take the next step, that is to prepare thesquad for the World Cup”, Nicolai added.

The German coach, who received plaudits for his stint as Head Coach in Azerbaijan was content with the quality of players in India. “I am satisfied with what I have seen but given the two and a half years which we have in hand, we will progress even more.”

Replying to a question inquiring about challenges, Nicolai asserted, ”The challenge is to prepare a team in the next two and a half years for the World Cup. We are ready to face the difficulties head on, if they arise.”

The German Head Coach also mentioned about his conversations with National Team Head Coach Stephen Constantine and asserted that an effective scouting system stays in the pipeline.

“Stephen and myself talked about a lot of things and scouting was one of them. Obviously we need more players and the scouting process is a constant progress. The door to the National Team is always open and wherever there is a ball rolling, played by players born in the age-group, my team or myself would be there.”

He also gave glimpses of future which could see the U-17 team on regular exposure trips. Four are to be to be held this year starting from an exposure trip to Germany in June 2015.

“I have prepared a plan for 2015 this year which includes four exposure trips and it will also see us play in the AFC Qualifiers. In between the spaces, we will continue our preparation of the team in Goa.”

“The first exposure trip will be in the first week of June 2015 which will see us play against better teams. Although the 20 players (17 outfield plus 3 goalkeepers) which I have are good, we have to see how they will fare against better teams,” he stated.

(Report & Picture courtesy AIFF Media)