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Technique, speed of thought behind India scoring 28 goals in 5 games: coach

Technique, speed of thought behind India scoring 28 goals in 5 games: coachBibiano Fernandes
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Technique and speed of thought are behind India scoring 28 goals in five matches during their triumphant campaign in the SAFF U-15 Championship,...

Kolkata (PTI): Technique and speed of thought are behind India scoring 28 goals in five matches during their triumphant campaign in the SAFF U-15 Championship, according to its head coach Bibiano Fernandes.

"Every team-building process must start with scouting," said Fernandes. "We started before February in the Subroto Cup. Then there was the Hero Junior League, and along with that, we had open trials in many states. I personally oversaw some of the trials, while (assistant coach) Kanan (Priolkar) also scouted in some states."

It was but a year ago when Fernandes and his coaching staff had brought through the previous batch of U-16 players, who managed to equal India's best finish in the AFC U-16 Championship, making it to the quarter-finals, where they lost out by a single goal to Korea Republic.

"It's been a very long process. Thanks to all the exposure tours organised by AIFF, we now have better idea about how to build the team after the AFC U-16 Championship in Malaysia last year.

"As a coaching staff, we now had the experience in terms of what kind of a team and what type of players we need to play at the continental level," said Fernandes.

"Having that experience, we knew exactly what we need. Looking back and learning from the mistakes that we made the last time round was also an important part of that journey," he continued.

"I am sure in another 5-6 years, we will have a much better team than what we have right now." The head coach explained that he and his staff prefers technical players, who can think on their feet, and have built the team around that centralised capability.

"We are always on the lookout for technical players, who have intelligence and speed, in terms of decision-making and creativity. Along with that, if we can get some physical players, it really helps us on the pitch. But the primary criteria is speed of thought, and not physicality," said Fernandes.

However, even though he build the team around the central idea of free-flowing, creative football, Fernandes had not imagined the team putting out such an expansive display in the SAFF Championship.

"I did not expect so many goals, but I knew that this group has a capability of scoring goals because we have good some very good forwards. Our other offensive players are also capable of providing them with ample support in attack," he said.

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