AIFF Media Team
KHAO YAI, THAILAND: It’s been nine months since the India U-17 Men’s National Team began it’s preparation for the AFC U-17 Asian Cup, and as they are now on the brink of beginning their campaign, All India Football Federation President Mr Kalyan Chaubey and Secretary General Dr Shaji Prabhakaran met with the team via video conferencing to motivate them ahead of the big clashes.
The planning to further promote and push this team began in 2022 even before they secured qualification for the AFC U-17 Asian Cup, and the team has, as such, benefited from the vision of the Federation management that has arranged for them to play quality practice matches in Spain and Germany as part of their preparation for the continental competition. They have also had some fruitful training sessions from the youth coaches of Atletico de Madrid, VfB Stuttgart, and FC Augsburg on the way.
The India U-17s are on the verge of participating in the AFC U-17 Asian Cup Thailand 2023, where they will play Vietnam (June 17), Uzbekistan (June 20), and Japan (June 23).
The Federation President greeted the players and wished them the very best for their upcoming AFC U-17 Asian Cup campaign.
“I hope that you are all prepared enough for the AFC U-17 Asian Cup. We have high hopes for each one of you. I have often spoken about you guys with the Secretary General and discussed your future,” said Mr. Chaubey, himself a former senior India goalkeeper. “With all the competitive matches that you have had, these experiences will bring a lot of value so that you can fly the Indian flag high.”
Secretary General Dr Prabhakaran said, “I am sure you are all doing well and are fully ready to take on Vietnam in your first game. Physically and mentally, you can deliver the results. You have had a lot of top level matches in Spain, Germany, and now in Thailand. With the work you have done in nine months, I am sure you are fully prepared to take on these three teams. Make India proud of you.”
The AIFF President also interacted with players from each areas of the pitch, the goalkeepers, defenders, midfielders, and forwards, and was duly thanked by each player, as well as head coach Bibiano Fernandes for helping the team put in a long preparation of nine months, which included matches against the junior sides of some of the top clubs in the world, like Atletico de Madrid, Real Madrid, VfB Stuttgart, FC Augsburd, UD Levante, Getafe CF, and many more.