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KOLKATA: Colin Toal, the man responsible for giving direction to youth development in Indian football, reiterated his call to the State associations to include age-group leagues in their calendar.
In the city to scout for the Indian under-19 squad for the Asian championship qualifiers, Toal said the purpose of the youth development is defeated if the State associations do not participate in the process.
“The age-group tournaments (under-14, 16 and 19) should form the centrepiece the calendar of programmes of every state association,” Toal said. “The programme of the State associations form the base of development from which we can have a strong I-League and good national team,” he added.
The technical director of the All India Football Federation said it is very important to have strong base if one wishes to see Indian football prospering.
Toal congratulated the Goa Football Association for implementing a “well structured” youth development programme. “The GFA model can serve as very good example as it follows a pyramidal structure with the junior, youth and village league at the base and the professional league at the top,” he said.
Toal, who along with four spotters are looking for talents, for the Indian under-19 squad, in the ongoing Dr. B.C. Roy Trophy, said a total of 75 boys will be picked initially for a selection-cum-coaching camp in July. The number will be brought down to 30 players, who will form the base of the Indian team that will pay the Asian championship qualifiers, he said.
Speaking about the proposed junior team that will play in the I-League, Toal said the team is likely to be picked form the previous group of boys who played for Indian under-19 in the previous season.
“They are no longer under my charge, they will be looked after by the National coach,” he said.
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