After SAFF win, India U-15 side to play friendlies in Turkey

With the SAFF Championship under its belt, India U-15 football team will play two friendly matches against Keciorengucu FC on September 9, followed by a match against Fenerbahce FC on September 11.

India U-15 side had beaten Nepal U-15 7-0 to win the 2019 SAFF U-15 Championship at the Kalyani stadium in West Bengal.   -

After winning the 2019 SAFF U-15 Championship last week in Kalyani, West Bengal, head coach Bibiano Fernandes believes that India U-15 boys are back on track, and have the AFC U-16 Championship qualification in sight, as it heads to Turkey for a couple of friendly games.

“The boys are as ready as they were before the SAFF Championship began. As I have said before this is all a part of the process, and the final target is, of course, the AFC Qualifiers. So it is important that you do not take any match or any tour lightly and as a team, you are always prepared and ready,” said Bibiano.

READ| SAFF U-15 football championship: India emerges champion

“The first thing I did after the SAFF victory is to remind the boys that we still haven’t achieved our target yet,” he continued. "Yes, the boys deserved to celebrate the SAFF victory and we did so, but now we are already back on track and the team has already set its eyes forward.”

Bibiano’s team is now set to play two friendly matches in Turkey against Keciorengucu FC on September 9, followed by a match against Fenerbahce FC on September 11.

The India junior side coach believes that playing the age-group teams of the traditionally strong Turkish clubs will help his boys prepare for the tough challenges that lie ahead in the AFC U-16 Championships qualifiers.

“It will be a different and tougher challenge. We had played the Besiktas Youth team the last time we were in Turkey with the previous batch, and we know very well how good the Turkish players are technical," he said.

“I really believe it will be very helpful for our preparations for the AFC Qualifiers. To compete and hopefully win against some really good European opposition just prior to a tournament as important as the AFC Qualifier will go a long way in boosting the players’ self-confidence,” added Bibiano.

After the friendlies, the India U-15 side will head to Uzbekistan for its AFC U-16 Championship qualification campaign, where it takes on Bahrain, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.

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