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Tie-up with German football opened doors: Nicolai

New Delhi, Sep 11; Nicolai Adam, India’s head coach for the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup team, today said that AIFF’s association with German Football Association (DFB) has opened the doors for country’s young talent.

“The co-operation with DFB has opened doors for us. One part of our plan for 2016 is, to play versus various youth Bundesliga teams in Germany. It will guarantee us highly competitive matches on top level and it will also be the best economically,” he said.

Asked about his team’s clubbing with Iran, Bahrain and Labanon in AFC U-16 qualifiers, Nicolai said, “I have played a couple of matches against Iran. They are a good footballing nation and start as the favourites especially as they host it.”

Praising the initiative taken by the All India Football Association to launch an U-15 League, he said there is also need to have U-13, U-11 and U-9 leagues in every single state to develop the game.

“All developed countries have competitions for 10 months and that’s where India lose out,” he added.

On his assessment of players the head coach showed no excitement at this moment as he believed that they need to stop dreaming and start working hard.

Underling the importance of psychology in the game Nicolai said, “It’s not just about physique. It’s also about the psychological aspect. You need to be hard and harsh as you have to make up for the lack of football education in early childhood.