The Indian Under-20 men’s team is mostly a continuation of the Indian Arrows batch that has participated in the Hero I-League in the last two seasons.
“India has always been considered the best in South Asia. There is always our hope of winning. This time there will be more, as we are playing at home. It’s a great opportunity for the boys to play an international competition under such an umbrella. conditions,” Venkatesh told aiff.com.
“Due to the pandemic, these boys are playing international football after a gap of almost two years. So they are excited,” he said.
India has been training for the Under-20 tournament in Bhubaneswar for over a month. Hosts India will play their first match against Bangladesh on July 27. Five teams with the top two teams will play once in a round robin format. Going to the finals to be held on 5th August.
India are scheduled to play later in the AFC U20 Asian Cup Qualifier, where they are clubbed with Australia, Kuwait and hosts Iraq.
“We are motivated as a unit. Doing well in Asia is our main objective. The players know the value and importance of the Asian Qualifiers. We are all working to do better. We need to see more of playing at that level. Experience is needed. India needs to compete with the best in Asia,” the coach said.
There are many players who have come through the junior international football system, most notably those who graduated from India U15 and U16 side U-15 SAFF before finishing top of their group in the AFC U-16 Championship Qualifiers. Won the championship, scoring 11 goals in three matches.
While the 2020 edition of the AFC Under-16 Championship was called off due to the pandemic, the same boys have now moved on to the Under-20s, adding to the experience of playing at the Asian level with them.
“Boys who have graduated from the Under-16 batch already have the experience to do well in Asia. If guided in the right way, their confidence can be contagious. However, across levels of every age group. There is a difference. At the U-20 level, players should treat themselves professionally, as they are just one step away from the senior team.”
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