NEW DELHI: The Indian U-23 National Team will take on Singapore U-23 National Team in an International Friendly in the first of the two-match series in Singapore on Sunday (July 9, 2017). The second match is scheduled for July 12.
These two matches have been organised by the All India Football Federation to help the Team prepare for the “bigger challenge” – the AFC U-23 Championships 2018 Qualifiers where India are clubbed with hosts Qatar, Turkmenistan and Syria in group C. India will play Syria in the opener at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium in Doha on July 19, 2017.
National Coach Stephen Constantine, under whose coaching India have jumped to 96 from 173 in the recently-released FIFA Rankings since March 2015, said this exposure trip would help the boys gather much “valuable experience ahead of the tougher test.”
“Most of the boys haven’t played any International match at this level. These two matches will help them gain much valuable match experience.”
“They have shown enough progress within such a short period and these real-time match experiences will help us tune in ahead of the Qualifiers”, he added.
Meanwhile, he informed that “the weather in Singapore is fine and all the boys are fit and raring to go.”
On being asked how the 20-odd days camp in New Delhi helped the team to develop, the British coach exuded, “It’s really difficult to bring in 34 boys who have never played together as a team before. Half of them don’t know the other half. But they have gotten a real test of International Football from this camp- the intensity, the discipline is of the paramount importance and they’ll surely hone these attributes which would help them to excel in the future.”