Five trainees of the state-run Chandigarh Football Academy (CFA) have been selected to the national camp for the FIFA under-17 World Cup that will be hosted by India in the year 2017.
The five players – Harsh, Sanjeev Kumar (both strikers), Sumit Rathi, Karan Singh (both defenders) and Amarjeet (midfielder) – have been selected on the basis of their impressive show during the two friendly matches, played between the CFA’s under-14 team and the probables already part of the national camp, last week in Goa.
The CFA trainees, who are on an 18-day exposure trip to the city, dominated the national campers by playing a 2-2 draw in the first encounter and winning the second match 3-0.
“The selection of our trainees to the India camp is a matter of great pride, and it again shows that the talent groomed at the CFA is one of the best in the country,” said CFA coach Harjinder Singh, adding, “All the five players will join the camp after participating in the U-14 Subroto Cup to be held next month in Delhi. I am confident that out of the five, at least three will make it to the 22-member Indian squad for the World Cup.”
The former Indian skipper also said that the impressive showing by CFA players in the two friendly matches will put them in good stead for the future tournaments.
“To defeat players of such good calibre, as are participating in the national camp is no small feat. The success will act as a source of motivation for our boys when they prepare for future challenges. At the same time, it is also important that such exposure trips are organised from time to time as it helps the trainees showcase their talent and gain experience.”
UT director (sports) Sunil Bhatia also congratulated the CFA trainees on their selection to the camp: “It is a great achievement on the part of our boys and I am certain they will do the country proud one day.”
Since its inception in 2000, the Chandigarh Football Academy has produced a number of talented players. While many of them are playing for professional clubs, as many as 22 players went on to represent India in different age categories.
Most recently, eight players of CFA’s latest pass-out batch, namely Arjit, Daniel, Harpal, Nishu, Arshdeep, Sajid Kamalpreet and Simran, have been selected in the national under-19 camp for the next year’s AFC Championship.