The exposure tour to Italy is a part of the team’s preparations for the 2020 AFC (Asian Football Confederation) U16 Champions Qualifiers to be held later this year.
Coach Bibiano Fernandes is hoping to repeat the process which saw the previous batch make it all the way to the quarter-final of the 2018 AFC U16 Championship. There, India had come within just one victory of securing a direct FIFA U17 World Cup qualification before being knocked out by South Korea in the last-eight.
“We had good success with the previous batch, and are looking to build a similar setup this time too,” Bibiano said ahead of the team’s departure for Italy.
“USA, Mexico, and Slovenia are big teams. It will be good for the boys to play against such developed sides. We conducted trials throughout the country and scouted boys from different parts like Kolhapur, Goa, Kerala, Mizoram, Manipur.
“The previous team was together for quite some time, so they were already ready. Right now, we are still looking for some positions.”
The current batch at Bibiano Fernandes’ disposal is made up of boys born on or after January 1, 2004 (all U-15).
MU-15 Championship Schedule
April 28, Sunday
USA v India
April 29, Monday
Mexico v India
April 30, Tuesday
Slovenia v India