AIFF Youth Cup will be like mini WC: Adam

With less than a week left for the kick-off of the inaugural edition of the AIFF Youth Cup, Nicolai Adam, head Coach of the India U-16 team, said the competition in the five-nation tournament would be "intense."

With less than a week left for the kick-off of the inaugural edition of the AIFF Youth Cup, Nicolai Adam, head Coach of the India U-16 team, said the competition in the five-nation tournament would be “intense.” The tournament is part of the exposure being provided by AIFF to the U-16 national team as it prepares for the 2017 U-17 FIFA World Cup.

“The competition would be intense. It will be like a tiny little mini World Cup,” Adam said, referring to the participation of U.S.A., Korea Republic, Tanzania and Malaysia in the tournament.

“As a team we sat together and set up our goals. We would like to play five matches in the tournament. If we finish among the top four Teams, we get to play an additional match (the third-place play-off). In other words, we can’t afford to finish last,” he said.

It is a tough ask. “We have a team from North America (U.S.A.) and they have been regular entrants to the U-17 World Cup.

“Then we have two Asian Countries besides us. It’s no secret that Korea Republic are a powerhouse in Asia and have qualified for the U-16 AFC Finals (which are to be hosted in Goa in September 2016) and so have Malaysia. So they will come prepared,” Adam said.

“We also have an African Team playing in the format. We do not know much about Tanzania but we came back from South Africa (from an exposure Tour) and understand that teams from the region are normally very strong.”

“What better tests can you get than this?” Adam, who has now been in charge of the 2017 U-17 World Cup team for a year, quipped. “I expect youth football at the highest level to be played in the competition.”

AIFF Youth Cup kicks-off on May 15 and two matches have been scheduled for the day. While Tanzania play USA in the opener, India U-16 will be playing Malaysia U-16 in the second match of the day. All matches would be played at Tilak Maidan, Vasco, Goa.

  Dugout videos