Three trainees of the Chandigarh Football Academy (CFA)-Samuel, Ramdin and Vikram-have been selected for the ongoing camp in Kalyani, West Bengal. The team selected from the camp will represent India in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-14 Championship.
This is the first national camp for the trio; naturally, they are upbeat about being a part of it.
"It's only been a year since I started training here. So, getting a shot at the India jersey, that too so early, feels unbelievable," shares left back Vikram who hails from Dehradun. "My main focus will be to train harder and translate that effort into performance. I will give my all to get a berth in the national squad."
The Mizoram midfield duo of Samuel and Ramdin was a part of the city under-14 squad that claimed gold in the 2011 National School Games in Chandigarh. Samuel, who has been training at the academy for four years, had helped GMHS-36 lift the Subroto Cup in 2010.
The three players were also part of the city's under-17 teams that came second and third in last year's Administrator Cup and National School Games, respectively, and the under-16 side that finished as the runners-up in the recently concluded Mir Iqbal Hussain Trophy.
Expressing hope of the trio being selected for the national squad, CFA head coach Harjinder Singh said, "Samuel has always been one of our main scorers, while Vikram and Ramdin have groomed themselves very well in just a year. I'm sure that all three will make it to the final squad."
Since its inception a dozen years ago, CFA has produced a steady stream of talented players. While Deepak Devrani and Gurjinder represent East Bengal and Pune FC, respectively, many others are currently playing for the country in different age categories.
"More than 20 players from our academy have played international tournaments, something that has been made possible by the concerted efforts of the trainees and the coaching staff," said Harjinder. "We hope to continue producing quality players who can serve the national side."