The All India Football Federation (AIFF) seems to be taking India’s participation and performance at the Incheon Games very seriously. It is for this reason that the governing body have decided to send the national Under-23 team on tour to the Czech Republic and China on exposure tours.
A final selection of 25 members will be made from the original 30 member squad are currently undergoing training at the national camp in Bangalore conducted by Wim Koevermans which began on July 1st. The team will depart for the Czech Republic on 21st July and return by 8th August having played against three cubs based there viz. Senco Doubravka, FK Most and TJ Domazlice. They are expected to be based in Pilsen.
“All India Football Federation believes in providing the best of facilities to all teams and hence, we have organised for back-to-back exposure tours for the India’s Asian Games squad for them to prepare in the best possible fashion,” explained AIFF general secretary Kushal Das, to the AIFF website, on the importance of such tours to help the team prepare for the tournaments ahead.
Koevermans went a step further and added that the team needed to adapt it different playing styles of opposition. “The boys need to play against different styles, learn about strong opposition and build on from there,” he elucidated.
The team will then head to China on August 25 upto September 8th, where they will be hosted by Shanghai FC and JiangSu Shun Tian, after which they will fly directly to South Korea for the games.
A squad dominated by Under-23 players has only three players of international experience to call upon viz. Sunil Chhetri, Robin Singh and Francis Fernandes.