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Sunday, Oct 20, 2019

It is easier to prepare for FIFA U-17 World Cup than U-20, feels German official

As players get older, they don’t get enough time with the youth squad, says German football federation vice-president Hans Dieter-Drewitz. He feels that preparing for FIFA U-17 World Cup is easier than U-20.

fifa-u17-world-cup-2017 Updated: Oct 19, 2017 19:42 IST
Dhiman Sarkar
Dhiman Sarkar
Hindustan Times, Kolkata
German players train ahead of their FIFA U-17 World Cup quarterfinal vs Brazil.
German players train ahead of their FIFA U-17 World Cup quarterfinal vs Brazil.(AP)

Hans Dieter-Drewitz, a vice-president with the German football federation (DFB), said it is easier to work with FIFA U-17 World Cup teams than with U-20s.

As they get older, they become regulars with the first team and professionals and that gets in the way of preparing for the youth national team, he said.

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“I was in Korea this year and we had problems,” said Drewitz here on Thursday as the German team trained for Sunday’s quarter-final against Brazil in the FIFA U-17 World Cup.

Germany lost in the pre-quarterfinals of the FIFA U-20 World Cup to Zambia this year.

This team, Drewitz said, has been together for the better part of two years and through the European cycle of qualifiers and the finals last summer. They would meet once in six weeks, he said.

10 million euros on youth development

Starting with under-11 players, the DFB organises talent hunts and has 366 talent centres across the country, said Drewitz.

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“Of course, since 2000, the clubs and the federation work together. There are 54 training centres and apart from Bundesliga clubs, these centres are also at non-professional clubs, he said. Each of these amateur clubs get 30,000 euros annually from the DFB,” said Drewitz.

This comes out of a total budget of 10 million euros that the DFB has for youth development.

The Bundesliga clubs, of course, fund their own youth development programmes, he said. A club such as Bayern Munich, its president Uli Hoeness had told Hindustan Times in 2011, spent 5 million euros annually on youth development.

READ | FIFA U-17 World Cup: Japan’s youth set up comprises clubs, schools, universities

No pressure, no penalties

Germany coach Christian Wuck said the possibility of feeling like an away team with the Salt Lake Stadium supporting Brazil isn’t something he is worried about.

“It would be a pleasure instead to play in front of so many people. The boys would enjoy it, there would be no pressure,” said Wuck.

And when he was asked how he trains teenagers for penalties which cracks the toughest of men, Wuck simply said he doesn’t. “No penalties, we don’t prepare for them,” he said before boarding the coach.

First Published: Oct 19, 2017 19:37 IST

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