With less than a year left for India to host its first ever FIFA World Cup -- the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017, the U-17 World Cup Team of India left the nation for back to back exposure Tours in Brazil and Russia.
And when the www.the-aiff.com caught up with the head coach of the Indian U-17 World Cup team Nicolai Adam, where he spoke at length about the forthcoming tours, the experience gained from them, being on the same page as Brazil and Russia and much more.
Nicolai Adam’s boys will play a tournament in Brazil, involving four teams Atletico Paranaense, Orlando City (USA) and the Uruguay National Team.
*Which Teams would you play in Brazil?
“We will play in a Tournament involving four Teams including Atletico Paranaense, Orlando City (USA) and the Uruguay National Team. We are very happy to have got such an opportunity and it will help us immensely.”
In Russia Indian will play in the Granatkin Cup, where India will clash against the U-19 Teams of top European Nations. All these Teams would be of 99 born boys whereas we would play our 2000 born boys and Nicolai believes it will be a huge experience for Indian boys.
As Nicolai said when he has been asked,
*And whom would you play in Russia?
“In Russia we would be playing in the Granatkin Cup where we clash swords against the U-19 Teams of top European Nations. All these Teams would be of 99 born boys whereas we would play our 2000 born boys. It will be a huge experience for our boys. The experience playing against top International Teams is always nourishing and you either win or you learn.”
*How much helpful are these exposure Tours?
“The exposure trips are extremely helpful in setting up the current lot of Players which we have right now. Not only does it provide exposure to a competitive environment and test and build the squad chemistry, the Players also get to know their strengths and weaknesses.”
*How do you assess the performance of the Indian Team in BRCIS U-17 Tournament which was your last Tournament?
“I had mentioned prior to the start that we need to ensure our competitiveness in the Tournament and we did. We proved that we belong on the same page as the other Teams.”
*Can you elaborate?
“By far India proved that they were no pushovers. Not only did we bring Teams like Brazil and Russia to the same page as us, we even dominated matches. When have we seen an Indian Team dominating against an European Team? We did the unprecedented in the BRICS U-17 Tournament. However, there is still a lot of work to be done before the U-17 World Cup and we can’t get complacent. It is time to buckle up and work hard. We also have plans to travel to Europe and Africa late, apart from tours in Australia and United States.”