Fresh from their triumph in the International Four-Nations Tournament in Serbia, the Indian U-16 national team will be competing in another four-nation tournament in China which kicks-off on July 1, 2018.
Besides hosts China, the team coached by Bibiano Fernandes will also be playing against Thailand and DPR Korea. Boys born on or after 01.01.2001 will be competing in the tournament. However, India would be represented by boys born on or after 01.01.2002.
The tour has been facilitated by the All India Football Federation (AIFF) in conjunction with the Sports Authority of India (SAI) aiming to provide the best of exposure for boys as they prepare for the AFC U-16 Championship Malaysia 2018 Finals. This exposure tour comes on the back of the team’s preparatory process earlier in Egypt, Hong Kong, UAE, Qatar, Spain and Serbia.
The four-nation tournament gives India another opportunity to test themselves against teams who have already qualified for the AFC U-16 Championship as both Thailand and DPR Korea will also be playing in the U-16 continental championships where India have been drawn with Vietnam, Islamic Republic of Iran and Indonesia.
Head Coach Bibiano Fernandes felt playing in the tournament in China will help the boys prepare better for the AFC U-16 Championship Finals.
“In this tournament we will be facing national teams of three reputed footballing nations out of which two have already qualified for the AFC U-16 finals. Playing against age-group national teams are always the best manner to test yourself and it will further help us to bolster ranks,” he stated.
“Playing in a tournament for 2001 born boys will aid in the development of the chemistry of our squad. You need to remember that our boys are all 2002 born and this tournament in China will present us new challenges which I feel will be similar to what we will face in the AFC U-16 Championship,” he stated.
Abhishek Yadav, Director of National Teams said that, “The aim is to play against tougher opponents which will help us in our development and help us to perform better.”
“All the teams participating in the tournament are of a world class level and it will be a very nice opportunity for us to test ourselves against them.”