AIFF U-16 team departs for exposure trip to Dubai
New Delhi [India], Jan 19 : After a successful qualifying campaign for the AFC U-16 Championship to be held in Malaysia later this year, India U-16 head coach Bibiano Fernandes firmly believes the exposure trip to Dubai "will be the perfect way to kick-off preparation" for the tournament proper. "The AIFF has planned some exposure trips for the boys, starting with Dubai. I think this will be the perfect way to kick off preparation for the AFC U-16 Championship," said the coach. The exposure trip to Dubai is just the beginning of a series of trips that has been planned by the AIFF for the U-16 team. Reflecting on the same, Bibiano revealed, "After Dubai, we travel to Qatar to play some friendlies. There are also plans to travel to various other countries between January to August." Former Indian team captain Abhishek Yadav, presently Director of AIFF's Scouting Network, said the "real test begins now." "Now that we have qualified for the final phase of the AFC U-16 Championship, the real test begins now. The AIFF along with help from the Sports Authority have chalked out an extensive plan for a best possible preparation for the team," he stated. "We will be playing in nations where conditions are similar to that of Malaysia. So that the boys don't feel out of place later on." India had remained unbeaten in the Qualifiers, with a win over Palestine followed by draws against Nepal and Iraq. "We are currently on a 12 match unbeaten run in International Friendlies. And we hope to carry forward that momentum going into Malaysia," Bibiano quipped. The India U-16 squad, who is travelling to Dubai, is as follows: Goalkeepers: Lalbiakhlua Jongte, Niraj Kumar, Manik Baliyan Defenders: Sandip Mandip, Shabas, Ahammed, Gurkirat Singh, Harpreet Singh, Samir Kerketta, Moirangthem Thoiba Singh, Lalrokima Midfielders: Lalchhanhima Sailo, Eric Remruatpuia Changte, Givson Singh Moirangthem, Aenam Graffenberg Jyrwa, Ricky John Shabong, Ravi Bahadur Rana Forwards: Bekey Oram, Vikram Pratap Singh, Harpreet, Adarsh Rai Das, Ridge Melvin Demello, Rohit Danu, Shanon Aleixinho Viegas, Subungsa Basumatary.
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