New Delhi: National football team’s chief coach Stephen Constantine is confident that he will be able to unearth new talent from the current pool of India U-22 players aiming to seal a spot for the 2018 AFC U-23 Championship.
“Obviously, our primary target is to qualify for the AFC U-23 Championship. There’s absolutely no second thoughts on that,” the Anglo-Cypriot coach told www.The-aiff.Com after a training session at the Ambdekar Stadium.
“I have always believed in building a ‘team for the future’. Eventually, in a few years, these guys will represent India National Team. My eventual goal is to unearth some talents, who’ll be ready for the Senior National Team,” he added.
Referring to the forthcoming exposure trip to California, Constantine is confident that conditions in American city will be similar to the humid conditions that they will encounter in Doha.
“Our aim is to get accustomed to the conditions of Qatar as much as possible. New Delhi is hot, California will be hot too, which will be helpful for the boys during the Qualifiers. Playing against those sides will get us closer to our target.”
“We will play three or four matches against some quality club team, even a few senior teams. Who knows, they might pick someone (referring to the current U-22 boys who are in the camp now) and we might end up with the first Indian player to play in the USA,” he said.
The man, who turned everything into gold whatever he touched in the last year, always gives due respect to his opponents and it’s no exception this time too.
“We are clubbed with very strong teams in the Qualifier and every match will be tough. Qatar will be the team to beat in their backyard. Syria and Turkmenistan will be testing us too.”
Constantine said that he had no problems in switching from senior to U-22 team in less than a fortnight.
“It’s pretty same actually. The philosophy is same, the drills, system, the ultimate lookout-everything is same. For me, there’s absolutely no difference between the Senior National Team and these bunch of youngsters.”