Boys can perform on that stage: U-16 coach on tough AFC C'ship draw

Source :IANS
Author :IANS
Last Updated: Fri, Jun 19th, 2020, 19:24:06hrs

New Delhi, June 19 (IANS) India Under-16 football coach Bibiano Fernandes believes the boys can perform well against the top continental teams when they participate in the AFC Championship 2020 in Bahrain.

The draw was held on Thursday and India were clubbed with the likes of Korea Republic, Australia and Uzbekistan in Group C.

Sealing a place in the final four should be the primary concern for the Indian Colts as the four semi-finalists of the competition will earn a direct qualification to FIFA U-17 World Cup Peru 2021.

"I was watching it (draw) live and to be honest I wasn't expecting any country to be in any group," Fernandes said during a live session on Indian Football's Instagram handle.

"When I saw Korea, Australia and Uzbekistan I thought of my team, who have already given an account of themselves in the qualifiers.

"I believe from the bottom of my heart that these boys can perform on that stage against those teams."

India qualified for the U-16 finals when they finished as Group B champions in Tashkent from a group which had Uzbekistan (hosts), Bahrain and Turkmenistan. The Indian colts finished with 7 points from three matches scoring 11 goals, while conceding 1.

This is India's third consecutive qualification in the AFC U-16 finals, and ninth overall. Bibiano stated he tries to instill different values of life in the players so that they can become better players.

He also spoke about how he uses learnings from top football managers around the world and tries to use them while coaching the young boys.

"These boys are doing well they are learning fast and catching up quickly. The first thing that I try to instill in them are the values of life which according to me is the most important thing," Bibiano said.

"Discipline is one of the most important thing (that a player must possess). The other thing is resilience. It matters at the highest level.

"I have also been focusing on adaptation as we must adapt to playing against different oppositions and try to raise your level and try to meet the objective which is to win.

"I collect it (learnings of the sport) from here and there. I read about Alex Ferguson and him giving importance to discipline... then I read about how (Jurgen) Klopp uses his tactics... also from Pep (Guardiola) as to how to keep the ball and then adding a little bit of my own experience," he added.