“I have no idea about my rivals”, says UAE U-16 coach prior to India game tomorrow

U-16 Coach

India’s U-16 team under the guidance of German coach Nicolai Adam are set to play hosts to Asia’s best U-16 sides in the tournament. The AFC Under-16 Championships are planned to start from September 15th, in Goa.

When asked about expectation from this tournament, India U-16 Coach Nicolai Adams explained, “It’s not a secret, I signed with India to prepare a team for World cup next year. I have one more year to do that. Our very next task is to qualify for the world cup on merit; you know that means to reach semi finals. It will be important for us since it would mean we belong in the world cup on merit and not because we are being host.” The semifinalists from the 16 Teams would earn a direct entry to the FIFA U-17 World Cup in India next year.

“I know it would be sensational if we could do that, especially when we are missing 5 players. It would be very difficult, but I am not person who would run from that, no. The target would remain same, and we will see where it takes us. We will put our best effort.” He added.

The coach seemed happy with preparations for the championship, “We have had our exposure tour in Germany and Norway for the past three months and we have played 19 matches so far. We are looking forward to start our campaign and hope for the best,”

ALSO READ: India’s U-16 coach Nicolai Adam has been left to observe a “senseless” AFC rule that deprives him the opportunity to field at least four players.

Nicolai also stressed that he is taking one match at a time.

Like all other team coaches, Nicolai adams seemed vary of the opposition, “You ask the Coach from UAE and he will tell you that they take us seriously. If you ask me, I will also answer the same,” he quipped.

Ranked at 152, India will face UAE, who are ranked 74 in the FIFA rankings. But United Arab Emirates Coach Abdel Majeed believed that FIFA Rankings will count no significance in Youth Football. He said a lot of teams have good young players that don’t reflect the senior team rankings.

“Honestly speaking, at this age, the Senior Team Ranking hardly matters. You can find many good Teams at this age group but at the senior level, they fail to perform,” said the UAE coach at the Official Pre-Tournament Press Conference.

“The Senior Team Rankings of UAE and India won’t come into play when this bunch of boys hit the ground tomorrow,” he added.

“We are going to play India tomorrow. But I have no idea about my rivals. We have prepared to our strengths and we’ll give our best to churn out the best possible result,” said the coach of UAE who were Runners-up in the Championship back in 2002. “We began our preparation from June. We had an exposure trip to Malaysia where we played four matches. Now we’re here to test ourselves.”

On being asked about their target from this tournament, the UAE gaffer added, “Everyone has set a target here. We too have come with our target. We’ll look from match to match and first of all, we will pounce on to reach the next round.”

Nicolai also mentioned the injured Reamsochung Chongompipa Aimol who fractured his leg in the last practice match in Germany, “We will miss him. He has not recovered. He had 49 stitches and at that moment it was pretty bad. But he will recover and we are there for him”

The UAE team was the first among the 16 Teams to have landed in Goa about a week ago and will provide a stern test for the Indian colts.

The match will start at 7 PM in Fatorda on Wednesday (September 15, 2016) and will be telecast live on Star Sports network.

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