Coach Stephen Constantine who has roped in mostly U-23 players for the forthcoming SAFF Championship informed that “another group of players” are now better prepared for the future, thanks to the over-a-month-long preparatory camp and the exposure trip to Australia.
“We focus on every single aspect of the game during our camp and we look to work cohesively. We continued the same process with these boys as well and we can say that after the SAFF Championship, we will have another group of players who will be a little more prepared for the future, say the AFC Asian Cup in January,” Constantine stated before the team play their final friendly fixture in Sydney which is scheduled against Rydalmere Lions FC tomorrow, August 31.
After mustering a 3-1 win against APIA Leichhardt Tigers FC in the first friendly fixture in Australia, he rang in as many as five changes in the starting line-up to have a thorough look on every single available at his disposal.
On being asked whether they’re prepared for the test which lies ahead, the coach mentioned, “We had two different games recently but for me, it is about the overall development of the players. We are trying to give as much exposure to as many youngsters as possible.”
Moreover, the 55-year-old coach put more stress on the importance of the international fixtures as they carry utmost importance to the development of a player.
“The boys have worked very hard through the camp but I would have really liked more international games,” he added further, “We got better as the game (against Sydney FC) progressed and created a few opportunities as well. Overall, we wanted a tough game and we were presented with one. Now, we know more about ourselves as a team and of course, as individuals.”
India fought valiantly before going down 0-3 against Sydney FC when newly-signed Adam le Fondre, Siem de Jong stole the show for the Sky Blues.
After locking horns with Rydalmere Lions FC at the Valentine Sports Park in Sydney tomorrow, August 31 in the final friendly fixture in Sydney, the team will fly to Dhaka to compete in the 12th edition of the SAFF Championship. Tomorrow’s match will kick-off at 12:30pm IST.