India U-19 coach Floyd Pinto credits exposure trips for firm preparation

India U-19 head coach Floyd Pinto said that the exposure trips helped the boys prepare for SAFF Championship, and the AFC U-19 Qualifiers.

Floyd Pinto-coached India U-19 team is in Kathmandu now for the SAFF U-18 Championship.   -  AIFF Media

India U-19 coach Floyd Pinto said that the exposure trips have helped the boys prepare well for the SAFF Championship, and the AFC U-19 Qualifiers which are slated for November.

Speaking at the pre-tournament press conference in Kathmandu on Thursday Pinto said: “Back home the Federation in association with SAI have been helping us a lot as far as getting a lot of exposure trips and practice matches are concerned."

"That has helped us to prepare for the two main tournaments in the year, the SAFF Championship, and the AFC U-19 Qualifiers in November."

India begins its SAFF U-18 campaign against Bangladesh on September 23, and then plays Sri Lanka two days later.

The semi-finals are slated for September 27, while the final is on September 29.

The U-19 boys head to the tournament on back of a successful outing in Vanuatu, where they had finished in the first place.

However, Floyd wasn’t willing to read much into it. “No two countries are the same. What happened in Vanuatu was a good experience for us. It prepared us for what we could be facing in SAFF -- a similar playing style, and physicality and weather,” he said.

“It's all down to how we start in the first game against Bangladesh. We need to maintain our focus and intensity. We need to adjust well, a good start is always so important.”

Goalkeeper Prabshukhan Singh Gill also stressed the team “has prepared well for the SAFF Championship.”

“We have prepared well for this tournament, and have recently won the OFC youth Development tournament. That was a good boost for us. We would like to carry on the momentum in the Championship,” he added.

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