India U-23 ready to take on Singapore U-23 in friendly

The first of the two friendlies, in a warm-up tour ahead of the AFC U-23 Championships 2018 Qualifier, will take place on Sunday.

Stephen Constantine (centre) believes the friendlies will provide good exposure to the Indian team.   -  AIFF Media

The Indian U-23 team will take on Singapore U-23 in the first of two friendlies in Singapore on Sunday. The matches have been scheduled for a warm-up for the AFC U-23 Championships 2018 Qualifier, which begins later this month. India’s first match in the Qualifiers will be against Syria in Doha on July 19.

Stephen Constantine, the national coach, said the matches, organised by the All India Football Federation, will provide “valuable experience” for the team members, most of whom “haven’t played any international match at this level”.

Constantine said, “[U-23 team members] have shown enough progress within such a short period and these real-time match experiences will help us tune in ahead of the Qualifiers.”

Constantine admitted there had been considerable progress for the players in the national camp of the team organised in New Delhi, prior to this tour of Singapore. “It's really difficult to bring in 34 boys who have never played together as a team before. Half of them don’t know the other half. But they have gotten a real test of international football from this camp - the intensity, the discipline is of the paramount importance and they will surely hone these attributes which would help them to excel in the future.”

Constantine confirmed that the weather in Singapore was “fine” and that his team was “raring to go”.