Boys are excited ahead of the SAFF U20 Championship, says Venkatesh

NEW DELHI: It’s a new start for the India U-20 Men’s Team that are set to play hosts in the SAFF U-20 Championship in Bhubaneswar later this month. The squad is mostly a continuation of the Indian Arrows batch that has participated in the Hero I-League over the last two seasons, and Head Coach Shanmugam Venkatesh understands “expectations will be high.”

“India are always considered to be the best in South Asia. There’s always an expectation for us to win,” said Venkatesh. “That would be more this time, since we are playing at home. It’s a great opportunity for the boys to play an international competition under such conditions,” Venkatesh averred.

The India U-20s have been training for over a month in Bhubaneswar, the venue for the tournament. “Owing to the pandemic, these boys are playing international football after a gap of almost two years. So they are excited,” Venkatesh quipped

India play their first match against Bangladesh on July 27. Five teams will play each other once in a round robin format with the top two teams moving to the final slated for August 5.

India are also scheduled to play the AFC U20 Asian Cup qualifiers later in the year where they have been clubbed with Australia, Kuwait and hosts Iraq.

“We are motivated as a unit. Doing well in Asia is our main aim. The players know the value and the importance of the Asian qualifiers. We are all working to perform better,” he said. “We need more experience of playing at that level. India should be competing with the best in Asia.”

There are a number of players that have come through the junior international footballing system, especially those that have graduated from the India U15 and U16 side that had won the U-15 SAFF Championship before topping their group in the AFC U-16 Championship Qualifiers, netting 11 goals in three matches.

While the 2020 edition of the AFC U-16 Championship was called off due to the pandemic, the same boys have now moved ahead to the U-20 side, bringing their experience of playing at the Asian level with them.

“The boys that have graduated from the U-16 batch already have the experience of doing well in Asia. Their confidence can be infectious if directed properly. However, there are differences in every age group level. At the U-20 level, the players should be treating themselves in a professional manner, as they are just a step away from the senior team,” Venkatesh informed.

Venkatesh also feels the infrastructural and logistical help that the Odisha Government has put in for the team to train has really helped the players progress.

“Whatever the Arrows did in the Hero I-League in the last few years, we can’t forget the support from the Government of Odisha. We really need to thank them for opening up their facilities to us, even during a pandemic, with all the safety precautions,” he informed.

For Trial related updates: Latest trials updates in Mumbai Football

Also, Read ‘Invincible’ Ambernath Utd – Atlanta FC lift Harwood Champions League title

Follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram for all the latest happenings in the world of Indian football

Opportunity to make the team: U.K.M. Kothrud FC conducts selection trials for girls team

Pune-based U.K.M. Kothrud FC has announced that they will be conducting selection trials for their girl’s team on 15th January 2023 The club welcomes all players to come and showcase…


The Sunday Football League Season 4 is back

The Sunday Football League is back with its fourth season, and it’s shaping up to be the best one yet. With eight talented teams competing at the Kes Kandivali turf, there…


BFC Soccer Schools Elite team trials in Feb

Bengaluru FC launched their Mumbai program last season with the Soccer Schools and Elite programs with its local partner Soccer Schools of Excellence (SSE).  Bengaluru Football Club is a professional club…


India Khelo Football Season 2 Trials in Mumbai: A Chance to Kickstart Your Football Career

After conducting trials in 34 cities & villages across India, India Khelo Football is coming to Mumbai to hunt talent on 7th January. India Khelo Football kickstarted its season 2…


Mumbai Customs to conduct trials for Elite League

Former champions Mumbai Customs will be holding open trials for the upcoming MFA Elite Corporate League (Elite Division) The 2019 MFA Elite Division champions Mumbai Customs are conducting open trials…


Sunday Boys to hold trials for MFA 1st Division

MFA 1st division side Sunday Boys FC will be conducting trials in the first week of November for the upcoming football season Sunday Boys Football Club was established in the…


Millat FC to hold trials for MFA Elite Premier League

Millat FC – a club plying their trade in MFA Elite Division will be conducting open trials for their upcoming 2022-23 season Last season Millat had a decent run in…


MFA Elite Division club KSA to conduct trials for the upcoming season

Karnataka Sporting Association (KSA) – a club plying their trade in MFA Elite Division will be conducting open trials for their upcoming 2022-23 season Last season KSA had an amazing…


Young Guns Football Acadmey to conduct trials for their upcoming MFA 3rd Division Campaign

MFA 3rd Division club Young Guns Football Academy will be conducting open trials on October 9th for their upcoming season in Mumbai Football Young Guns Football Academy was founded in…


OSCAR SSE to conduct trials for Youth I League and YPL team in the U13 category in Mumbai

Mumbai-based OSCAR SSE will conduct trials for their Youth I League and YPL team on 16th and 17th July 2022 at Wings Sports Centre ground. Oscar SSE is a 2-star…