The India U-16 National Team, coached by Shuvendu Panda, reached Malaysia today, August 27 where they are slated to play four friendly matches against AMD U16/17 on August 29, August 31, September 2 and September 5. All matches will kick-off at 2pm IST.
Panda referred to this exposure tour as a ‘very important test’ as they haven’t played against any country from Southeast Asia before.
“The opposition ahead of us is a tough one. As our team has not played against any Southeast Asian team before, so it is a very important test for us to assess our performance against them,” Panda commented after reaching Kuala Lumpur.
The Blue Colts have prepared well for these matches and coach feels they are confident as well.
Panda stated, “We are quite pumped for this exposure trip. We have prepared rigorously before this tour and we hope to showcase our optimum performance.”
Meanwhile, he mentioned other age-group teams’ current overwhelming performances would encourage his troop to push more and deliver on the pitch. He praised AIFF for putting in the rigorous effort towards ‘development of youth players’.
“I am very delighted that our boys are currently performing at their optimum level and it is possible due to the efforts provided by AIFF for the development of youth players of our country. I am happy that my team is also a part and parcel of this development chain,” he said.
The India U-19 National Team under Floyd Pinto finished first in the recently-concluded OFC Development Tournament in Vanuatu whereas the India U-15 National Team under Bibiano Fernandes has had a great start so far in the ongoing SAFF U15 Championship in Kalyani, West Bengal.
“Yes, we feel the pressure to deliver and I enjoy it. So, I always welcome that and I feel that’s how we can take out the best from the boys,” he said.
INDIA U-16 BOYS
Naveen Saini, Frevino Fernands, Zahid Bukhari
Hannan Abdul, Sajad Hussain Parray, Praful Kumar, Evan Thapa, Tankadhar Bag, Savio Clarence Fernandes, Dipu Halder, Brijesh Giri, Lalrampana Pautu, Kushang Subba
Pragyan Medhi, Vibin Mohanan, Rudraansh Singh, Vellington Fernandes, Lalchhanhima Chawnghlut, Shailesh Patre, Advait Sumbly
Vanlalruatfela Thlacheu, Sundar Gogoi, Vishwa Vijay Shinde
Shuvendu Panda (Head Coach), Abhijit Mondal (Goalkeeping Coach)