Nicolai Adam: 'I feel the boys are ready'

Ahead of the Championship which kicks-off in Goa from September15 to October 2, 2016, head coach of the India U-16 team, Nicolai Adam, spoke about the preparation, his thoughts, the rivals, the training process and much more.

India will plays its first match against UAE on September 15.   -  AIFF

Despite being the hosts and having an assurance of an automatic entry for the AFC U-16 Championship 2017, the Indian U-16 team would be playing in the Championship on basis of its qualification on merit from the AFC U-16 Qualifiers which were held in Tabriz City, Iran in 2015.

The Championship will see the top sixteen U-16 teams of Asia battling for top honours with the four semifinalists gaining a ticket to the FIFA 2017 World Cup India 2017.

Ahead of the Championship which kicks-off in Goa from September15 to October 2, 2016, head coach of the India U-16 team, Nicolai Adam, spoke about the preparation, his thoughts, the rivals, the training process and much more.

Question: The AFC U-16 Championship India 2016 is knocking at the door. Are the boys tense?

Answer: Not at all! You have to be ready at the right time. When the referee blows the whistle they have to be in the right frame of mind and do their job. When it ends, they need to relax and recover as fast as possible just like any other professional sportsperson do, and get ready for the next one. We do this day in and day out during our training so I feel it’s already a part of our process. I feel the boys are ready.

The AFC U-16 Championship India would be followed by the BRICS Cup. How much significance does it hold?

I want to remind that this is the best case scenario we can ever have. In the next four weeks we will play minimum 7 International Matches, or maybe maximum 11 International matches.

Can you elaborate?

That amount of high intensity International Football at the youth level hasn’t ever happened for the Indian National Youth Team(s). It is extremely important to have them as part of preparation for the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017. The boys need the exposure as they will be playing the World Cup. If we can get that sort of exposure in India, we take it without any complaints. It’s the best case scenario which can happen.

Number wise are those numbers of matches sufficient?

If you look at the German national age-group team(s), they play around 7-12 International matches in a year. If you add the AFC U-16 Finals and the BRICS Cup, not to forget the AIFF Youth Cup where we played four matches, we surpass them as we end up with more matches.

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