India U-16's Bekey Oram: AIFF's exposure tours have helped us up our level

AIFF Media
As India U-16 gear up for the AFC U16 Ch'ship, Bekey Oram is thankful for the help from the football federation in India...

Bekey Oram, the fleet-footed dribbler of the India U-16 team, is one of the youngest talents in the squad currently camping in Malaysia for the AFC U-16 Championship.

The Odisha boy is treading the footsteps of his brother Rakesh Oram who earned a place in the India U-15 squad at the age of 14 in 2012. The Oram family loves football and Rakesh managed to earn a contract at Indian Super League side Mumbai City in 2016. His younger sibling is now stealing the limelight. 

"At home, ours is a footballing family. My brother (Rakesh Oram) started playing, reached the India junior setup and I have looked up to him ever since. I started playing and I too got this opportunity now," Bekey Oram told Goal . "He helps me a lot in my game. He tells me about what I have to improve on and that I have to keep on winning."

Oram is another one of Bibiano's astute picks. During his stay at the Balangir Sports Hostel, he impressed for Odisha at the sub-junior level and his displays caught the eye of the Goan coach. He was still pretty raw back then but the player has improved leaps and bounds as India went on one exposure tour after another. 

"I want to thank the All India Football Federation (AIFF) for all the exposure we got. Playing foreign teams of a higher level has helped us up our level too. Now we can also match up to them and play," believes Oram. 

The Lionel Messi fanatic now aims to continue the work put in during the friendlies and pitch for the trophy in Malaysia. 

"Coming here, we are pretty confident of reaching the finals. We will continue the hard work, reach the final of the AFC (U-16 Championship) and qualify for the (U17) World Cup.

"Support us and we will work hard and give our best shot to qualify for the (U17) World Cup."

India take on Vietnam in their first Group C match on September 21.