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The Irish coach believes that the overage problem prevalent at the youth level must be rooted out right at the start...

Colin Toal, the head coach, youth development of India, opines that the state associations must be a little more cautious when it comes to age group tournaments which are always hit by the overage virus.

“This has been prevalent for long. The State Associations need to be more serious,” said Colin Joseph Toal.

With a vision to get boys for the four Regional Academies, the AIFF, since September 2011 scouted over 170 boys from various age-group tournaments, U-14 Fests and open trials which were conducted across the length and breadth of the country by Robert Baan, Technical Director for Indian football and Scott O’Donell, Technical Director, Regional and Elite Academies.

The selected U-14 boys were then kept in a Camp in Kalyani for over a month after which the list was filtered to a final list of 120. But when medically tested, 84 out of 120 were found overage. The Camp was for U-14 boys but some of them were found to be even over 17!

“Just look what happened in the camp in Kalyani,” he mentioned.

“It seems, we just need to conduct tests almost every day. The money went waste, the effort and energy went waste; it’s so much frustrating and discouraging for the development of the sport in the country,” Toal lamented.

“It’s about the honesty of individuals. Be it coaches, be it administrators, somewhere people stay desperate to win even at the U-14 level. But at that level, it’s all about development than winning,” he signed off.

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