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India juniors toiling hard to face World Cup rigours

As he stepped onto the ground with the Indian Under 17 team, soccer coach and Portugal's Luis Norton Matos looked skyward and then towards the training at Don Bosco Oratory grounds, Fatorda on Wednesday evening. Since Matos took over in March, the India U-17 team has been on exposure trips to Europe and Mexico, but the Portuguese believes his players have simply not had enough competitive experience.

Story: the | goan | 14th September 2017, 07:08 Hrs


Matos is brave to assert himself on the players and implement the work ethos he brought from Portugal at the training session. Matos who was spotted in a red jersey made sweat drip down endlessly as he engaged his wards in first touch, pass and move and play short game. He emphasised on a 4-3-3 system where boys were put through their paces under the watchful eyes of head coach Matos, assistant coach Hugho, physio Babu and Mario Aguair. Velu, local team manager acted as an interpreter to the head coach as he translated coach talk into Hindi.
Meanwhile, the U-17 World Cup, the most high-profile football event the country is hosting, will be held across six cities - New Delhi, Kolkata, Guwahati, Margao, Kochi and Navi Mumbai.
With 23 days to go for the mega event to kick off, Luis Norton de Matos has a tough job on his hand as he gears up to make his team a unit worth to take on the best in the world.
The boys are in good shape and on the exposure tours abroad, they have fared decently. At a time when all World Cup teams are practicing in Europe, Indian boys are back home and toiling in Goa.
Meanwhile, the team had arrived in Goa on Monday and will be training at the Don Bosco grounds until September 26, disclosed a source. "They liked the facilities," a college official added. There were some curious onlookers to watch the training session which went on for over two hours. Promising Aniket Jadhav and Komal Thotal were seen linking up and working out the tactics laid out by coach Matos and his assistant Hugo.
"The team is preparing well. The boys have worked hard and are putting in a lot of effort and the attitude of the team is a positive. Signs for better things to come. The facility here is good. We hope we can play some friendly matches because that will be very important for us," said one of the staff.

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