U-17 World Cup: Five boys shortlisted from overseas trials

Aiming to scout boys for the Indian under-17 World Cup squad, AIFF Director of Scouting Abhishek Yadav has shortlisted five boys through overseas trials for Indian passport holders in Dubai.

India under-17 football coach Nicolai Adam (right) interacts with former Indian footballer Baichung Bhutia (left) and Abhishek Yadav, AIFF Director of Scouting.   -  Prashant Nakwe

After the launch of the SAI–AIFF Overseas Scouting Project for the Indian U-17 World Cup squad, Abhishek Yadav, AIFF Director of Scouting, conducted trials for Indian passport holders in Dubai on June 10 and 11. From these trials, Yadav has shortlisted five boys.

Out of the 250 plus boys who participated in the two-day trials, the five shortlisted players were Augustas Nixon, Neelakantan Anand, Arjun Sunil, Rixon Lobo and Yuveer Kelkar. The selected ones would undergo further trials under under-17 head coach Nicolai Adam at a camp in Germany.

The under-17 World Cup is scheduled to be held in India during September-October 2017.

Former India player Yadav said that he was “very surprised” with the talents on display at the Dubai trials. "I was very surprised with the talents on display at the Dubai trials in a good way. One could see that the boys knew how to play football. There were 250 plus boys who participated in the trials over the length of the two days and the quality was impressive as well."

"The onus now lies on the players to impress Nicolai. It is now Nicolai’s call whether the boys fit into the scheme of things for the under-17 World Cup squad. We did an in-depth analysis of them and all of that displayed good potential. We also found a left footer in the squad and that is something which we look forward too."

"Overall, though it seems the boys have what it takes to play football at the next level it all depends on how hard they work to achieve it.”