The Preparatory Camp of the Indian Under-22 squad for the AFC Under-22 Asian Cup qualifiers is in full swing at the Ambedkar Stadium in New Delhi. Head Coach Arthur Papas is stressing on the new 4-3-3 formation, and the boys are getting accustomed to it fast.
Senior India striker Jeje Lalpekhlua, who is still young enough to play Under-22s, said, “We have been explained and demonstrated the new formation and the players are getting used to it. The sessions are fun for sure,” he said. Jeje, who is still nursing his ankle injury haven’t had a full session so far and has been working with team physio Kaji Juyef Islam on the sidelines. “I hope to be training at full steam soon.”
Papas, however, isn’t in any hurry to rush Jeje. “I’m not desperate to play him unless he is 100 percent fit. He is a Senior Team player and when he plays in the U-22 team, it’s obvious all will expect more responsibility from him. So till the time he’s fully recovered, I won’t rush him,” he commented.
For the first time in the history of Indian football the practice sessions are being shot on camera which are later being analysed during team meetings.
Tata Football Academy graduate Simranjit Singh, who signed to play for Pailan Arrows next season, lavished huge praise on Arthur Papas. “He’s someone who guides you and stays patient. It’s nice to have someone like him,” Simranjit, who hails from Chandigarh, commented.
On Thursday morning, the boys were divided into four teams and played between themselves. The squad will play a practice match against a Delhi XI on Saturday at the Ambedkar Stadium.
Published with permission from Arunava about Football.