In the midst of a confusing state of Indian Domestic Leagues between ISL and i-League, there’s one positive that has come out of this confusion i.e. INDIAN ARROWS.
Due to the presence of Parallel Top Division Leagues in India, The Young U17 and the U19 team is able to compete with the teams of Top Division such as East Bengal, Mohun Bagan, Aizwal etc which would not have been possible if there was just one unified league in Indian domestic structure.
This U17 team is by far the best group of lads that have come up in the history of Indian Football. This is largely possible because of the participation of U17 team in the U17 FIFA World Cup in 2017.
As a result, this Group was bunched together a couple of years before and integrated planning including numerous Foreign exposure Tours, Couples of International competitive Tournaments and collective Development led to the enhancement of these Young players. No wonder, they are the most promising part of Indian Football presently.
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AIFF did a commendable job by holding this team together and is trying to build this u17 team and feed them into the senior National team in few years. This Team has received the best training in their early years. No Indian age group has had this kind of Early Scouting, International Tournaments, and Matches. Hence with the level of their preparation, developmental practices, and their performance, it is very natural that this team is expected to represent the senior team in a couple of years.
Results are already evident as they won their First I-League match On 29th November 2017 against Chennai City FC 3-0. Yes, the defeated the full Chennai City FC with Foreign Players too. Although it is too early to say, but with this performance against the senior team, the boys have show-cased their potential.
Now comes the most important part, how can this team reach the top?
- First and foremost this bunch of lads must stick together and continue to play against strong opposition, which they are doing at present in i-League.
- Players should not be lured by offers from ISL clubs, offering only big money; as they will be surely denied quality playing time.
- Friendlies against higher ranked opponents and the team should participate in International age groups tournaments.
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- This team should be given the opportunity to compete in the higher age groups AFC tournaments or SAFF tournament which happens every 2 years.
- The Federation must keep a close eye on the progress of this Team and know about their status, gameplay, style, lifestyle on and off the fields to help these players become better players each passing days.
- We also need a professional counselor, who can guide these young boys both at professional and personal front.
- Lastly, there should be someone who should be held accountable if these budding players are not handled and nurtured properly. With accountability, would come responsibility.