After participating in the AFC U-16 Championship and grabbing just a point off three games – courtesy of a 3-3 draw against Saudi Arabia - the Indian U-16 National Team will oil their engines for the five-nation BRICS U-17 Football Tournament, which commences on October 05, 2016 with India clashing swords against Russia in their opening encounter. The kick-off for which is at the Athletic Stadium in Bambolim at 8PM IST.
Ahead of the opening clash, Nicolai Adam touted the five-nation BRICS U-17 Football Tournament, wherein the Indian Colts face Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa, as value addition to the experience of the Indian squad.
“We are thankful for the BRICS Tournament and it helps us to gather more experience under our belts whilst exposing us to strong Teams”
“The BRICS U-17 Football Tournament is like a pre-World Cup as there are five Teams from four different confederations”
“We have to be competitive in the BRICS Tournament and ensure that we are hard to beat”, the Indian Coach said in the official Pre-Tournament Press Conference.
“We have to confirm our competitiveness and focus on the task at hand. At the same time we have to be realistic and give our cent percent in the (BRICS) Tournament."
Commenting on India’s opponents in their opening fixture of the Cup, Russia, Nicolai said, “Russia are a fantastic Team and we respect them as opponents”
“They (Russia) finished their qualifying campaign with nine points and we look forward to giving them a hard fight come tomorrow.”
The Russian U-16 National Team had won matches against Latvia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Moldova in their qualifying campaign.
Russian Head Coach Dimtry Ulyanov had earlier said in the Press Conference that, "We are expecting a tough challenge from India. However, we are ready for the Tournament as we come on the back of a Tournament in France and had participated in the UEFA Development Tournament as well"
Reflecting on the performance of the India in the AFC U-16 Championship, Nicolai said, “We did a long analysis for the AFC U-16 Championship and there are some technicalities that we need to work upon”
“We need to hunt actively for the ball and once we have the ball, we need to keep it better”
“Our philosophy is to score as many goals as possible but in order to score we need to have possession”, he stated.
“Sometimes we are not patient enough, sometimes we commit a lot. It is normal not to have balance in youth Football, but we have to strive to right our wrongs”
Captain Suresh Singh who was also present in the Official Pre-Tournament Press Conference hailed the German Coach’s work ethic and said, “We have developed into better Player under Nicolai-sir and he has taught us a lot when it comes to Football”