Two of AIFF elite academy's products — Nishu Kumar and Daniel Lalhimpuia have featured prominently for Bengaluru FC in the club's dream run to fnal of the AFC Cup 2016.
While defender Nishu Kumar started in both the legs against JDT in the semifinals, forward Daniel Lalhimpuia scored the winning goal for the Bengaluru based Club against Kitchee in a 2-3 win away from home.
Both youngsters expressed their gratitude towards AIFF for evolving them into better Players.
“I believe we are what we are because of the way the AIFF Academies carved us. Not only did they teach us to behave professionally, they also helped us develop into better human being and football players,” Daniel stated.
“We still have a long way to go as Football Players, but the AIFF Academies pointed us in the right way enabling us to cope with the nitty gritties of the Footballing World,” he added.
“The AIFF Academies groomed us into what we are today,” maintained Nishu who was a cadet in the AIFF U-16 Regional Academy in Mumbai before graduating to AIFF Elite Academy in Goa.
“The Football we learnt over in the Academies made us the Players we are today and the exposure which we got there representing India acted only as a value addition to the growth.”
The duo were also part of the Indian U-19 National Team coached by Lee Johnson which participated in the AFC U-19 Qualifiers held in Palestine in October 2015.
Commenting about his stint in Bengaluru Nishu said: “I have gathered a lot of experience through Bengaluru FC and training day in day out with National Team Players has made me a better Player. I have learnt a lot from Sunil-bhai, Eugene-bhai and Rino-bhai. I am very happy to be here at Bengaluru FC.”
Bengaluru FC face Air Force Club, Iraq in the final of the AFC Cup 2016 in Doha, Qatar on November 05, 2016 and the duo are raring to go if given a chance by Coach Roca to start.
“We are already lucky to be part of the Team and it is once in a lifetime opportunity for us to make India proud on the big stage,” Daniel informed. “We have trained under some of the best coaches in India and that has aided us a lot.”
“We have to give it our all if we are selected by the coach to play in the final.”
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