He may not be giving out names but chief national coach Wim Koevermans appears to be impressed with the players he has seen in the Federation Cup in Kochi and Manjeri.
“I’m not giving names but we looked for under-22, under-23 players and national team players.
“Some players have showed me that they are good for these teams,” said the Dutchman at the Nehru Stadium here on Monday evening.
The AIFF will have a probables camp in Bangalore shortly and the national coach will have a look at a group of around 70 players there.
“There are a lot of players out there, so we will bring them for 10 days to see how they are. We’ll go into the camp with about 70 players so we will have four teams, we’ll have them play small-sided games and bigger games to see them,” he said.
“We have selected a few already from the I-League, they will have to come to the camp in June.
“And then there will be the final selection for the AFC qualification. There are a lot of good players in the under-22 and under-23, so I’m very positive.”Back in business
The national coach was also happy to have a look at the IMG-Reliance players in Kochi and Manjeri. They had missed the I-League as they were preparing for the Indian Super League, which however failed to take off.
“If you’re out of competition for a long time and when you start playing again, normally, you don’t have your best form. But a lot of them, luckily for them, are back in business again,” said Koevermans.
The Indian team also has the Asian Games coming up in September-October in Incheon, Korea. Though it is an under-23 event, three seniors are allowed in every team.
So, does the coach have anybody in mind for these slots?
“It’s way too early. You’re nearly talking about Christmas at this time of the year,” he said. “There is room for those three players but I don’t know if I will use them. Let’s see. You’ve got to go with the best possible team.”
The Federation Cup here offered very poor training grounds to the teams. That had been the biggest disappointment here.
And Koevermans reiterated that quality training pitches are crucial to improve the standard of the game.
“The quality of training pitches should be top class. Take football seriously, football is serious business,” he said. “Give the boys good training pitches if you want to improve the quality of the game.”