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India's coach stressed the importance for the younger players to make a mark during the absence of seniors, whilst also highlighting the gain from playing foreign teams...

July 1st has marked the beginning of a two and a half month preparatory camp, in Bangalore, for the India Under-23 team, with all the focus on achieving success in the upcoming Incheon Games, scheduled for September, in South Korea.

India’s coach Wim Koevermans' side are expected to tour Europe and the Far East come mid-August.   

The Blue Tigers are expected to play the Pakistan Under-23 in Bengaluru on the 17th and 20th of next month, in what is seen as a friendly bi-lateral series.

“It’s good to have the boys for two and a half months. We will be able to build on teamwork and the football fitness as well. We will also be able to work on the manner and style we want to play,” explained the 54-year-old Koevermans, to the official All India Football Federation (AIFF) website.

As the Indian team for the Asian Games consists of Under-23 players, barring the inclusion of seniors Sunil Chhetri, Robin Singh and Francis Fernandes, the coach stressed the importance of the camp for the players.

“This preparatory camp is no different from the senior team’s preparatory camp. All the boys play in the I-League and it’s a nice opportunity for me to learn and understand how they train and perform. At the same time, it’s also an opportunity for them as there is a good pool who could make their way into the senior national team,” revealed the Dutchman.

On the topic of important exposure trips to Europe and Eastern Asia, Koevermans elucidated, “Exposure tours stay pertinent as we build up for big events. We want to play outside India as we won’t get that good an opposition in India. The boys need to play against different styles, learn about strong opposition and build on from there.”

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