The All India Football Federation (AIFF) is leaving no stone unturned so that the U17 national team can perform to their optimum best in the forthcoming U17 World Cup, scheduled to be held in India - later this year.
Goal can exclusively reveal that Coach Luis Matos and his side will now travel to Portugal, for an exposure tour beginning April 10th. They are expected to camp on Portuguese soil, where they are expected to remain for upto 34 days. During the course of the trip, the Young Cubs will play friendlies against the U17 national teams of Italy and Portugal, as well as the U17 side of French Ligue 1 side Paris Saint Germain.
Furthermore, the fledgling side are also scheduled to participate in the Lazio Cup. The tenth edition of the Cup, held in the provinces of Latina and Frosinone, has a slot for international participants. The tournament will be held between 23rd and 28th of May.
Siena, Partizan Belgrade, Sparta Prague, Qatar Aspire Academy, Partizan Belgrade, Inter (three consecutive years) and Fiorentina are a few academy sides who've won the prestigious cup.
Kushal Das, the general secretary of the AIFF, stated on the developments, "With six months or so to go for the U17 World Cup, the new coach wants to play tougher oppositions so that we know where we stand. We are also looking to play the natiponal teams of Hungary and Austria too," to Goal.
"We are in active discussions," further added Das, without giving away the nature of it.
The Chief Operations Officer (COO) of the age group side, Abhishek Yadav, has also been in constant discussions with the coach on the calibre of the rivals that the U17 Tigers will face.
Under the reign of former U17 coach Nicolai Adam the team has already travelled to countries such as Spain, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Germany, South Africa, Russia and Brazil.
A complete compilation of all the Indian U17 national sides' results, before the 2017 Granatkin Cup, can be found here.