Nicolai Adam: 'Group of Death is just terminology'

All teams in this Championship have qualified on merit. We will play whoever comes our way.

India U-17 coach Nicolai Adam in conversation.

Even as the entire fraternity dubs Group A as the ‘Group of Death’ in the AFC U-16 Championship India 2016, India U-17 coach Nicolai Adam calls it as just ‘terminology.’



EXCERPTS

India have been clubbed with Iran, UAE and Saudi Arabia in Group A in the forthcoming AFC U-16 Championship India 2016. Do you feel it is the ‘Group of Death?’

I would rather want to rephrase it. No group is a ‘Group of Death’ for us. On the contrary it is a big step forward towards preparation for the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2017. I have always wanted to play strong teams – the better the opponent the faster is the development of the players.



So how do you want to describe the Group?

I consider the ‘Group of Death’ as just a terminology. If we call this a ‘Group of Death,’ what will we be labeling teams when we get the draw for the U-17 World Cup? All teams in this Championship have qualified on merit. We will play whoever comes our way.



Your squad has been hit by an untimely injury

We are missing Reamsochung Aimol who had to undergo two surgeries in Germany including one on his broken shin. So on that front, we are struggling a lot and it came at the wrong time. Furthermore, Ninthoi had to be hospitalized for an inflamed appendix and though he is back, ideally, we would have not wanted it to happen at this time.

Obviously making it to the semis stays our target but under the circumstances whether we can achieve it or not, it’s early to say.



How much did the AIFF Youth Cup help?

It was a super one. It was great to have the tournament in India and play against international teams. The team needs that kind of tournaments as we move forward. It was good that we didn’t need to travel abroad to play those teams and played them in Goa itself. There were lessons learnt and it was overall a very positive experience for the boys.

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