Three Dubai-based players to join India U-17 WC squad

“There were over 200 players who turned up for the trails and there is talent for sure. I have shortlisted Qatar as well, and will be visiting soon”, said Abhishek Yadav.

Jaipur : Three Dubai-based Indian passport holders will be joining Indian U-17 squad currently training in Germany for next year’s WC to be held in India. Right footed striker Augustus Nixon, holding midfielder Arjun Sunil and left-back Neelkantan Anand have been handpicked out of the initial list of 200 probables from the overseas scouting programme attended by Chief Operating Officer for the WC team, Abhishek Yadav, and will be joining 21 member contingent who recently beat TSG Hoffenheim U-16 2-1 in a practice match.

The boys will be given two week’s time to acclimatize and impress head coach Nicolai Adam. India play the AFC U-16 Championships in September. “We have purposely set the time-frame to two weeks because it is not possible to judge the three overseas players in just three or four days”, Yadav added.

“These three boys have never travelled outside the UAE. So it wont be easy for them to come into a completely new set-up. I think two week are good for them to first get accustomed to the team and then showcase their skills”, the former Indian striker said. Yadav revealed that they have plans to continue with this overseas scouting programme till December with the next stop being Qatar.

“The response in the UAE has been massive. Now the Indian community there feels involved  with the WC. There were over 200 players for trails. I have shortlisted players in Qatar as well and will be visiting soon.” Yadav is travelling to Germany with the three boys next Monday. The current bunch, which is based out of Goa, have been together for one and a half years. Asked whether gelling with the squad in such a short notice will be a problem, Yadav said : “If we have a real deal, there is no denying. That is why we are giving the three boys a longer probation period.”

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