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India U-13 Kids to Start Yamaha ASEAN Cup Campaign Today

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India U-13 team is all set to start their Yamaha U-13 ASEAN Cup in Thailand on a high note.  Booming with confidence after their strong performance in the Asian Youth Festival, the team, comprising boys mainly from Bengal carries a huge burden of keeping the Tri-Colour flying in their first ever Yamaha U-13 ASEAN Cup.

Yamaha organized a qualifying round in India where 8 teams with more than 120 kids took part. Kids from states and cities like Assam, Kerela, Kolkata, Pune and Nagpur participated in the tournament held from May 15th to 28th where boys from Kolkata emerged the champions.

Only eight of the boys have reach Thailand till yesterday with rest of the squad expected to make it today before the match as they could not get clearance for the Visas’. Most of the boys have come from a humble background which made it even difficult for the organizers to get their travel documents in order in quick time.

Yamaha India Representative Arnab Bhattacharjee, who has seen the boys for considerable period of time said, “It is unfortunate that they have to go through all these difficulties. However he was hopeful that the team will do well though half the squad will play the match straight away on arriving.

“We have a good team, they play as a unit and the goalkeeper (Subroto Mazumdar) is superb but we have just half a team and rest will come tomorrow. They will have to play straight away. They would be very tired but we are hopeful the team will do well,” Bhattacharjee said.

“These young boys had to struggle a lot and hopefully in this tournament they do well for the country. They have a bright future ahead and it is a great exposure and opportunity for them,” Bhattacharjee added.

India, clubbed together with Thailand-1 and Vietnam in group A will take on the home team in their first match. If they win, they will play Vietnam though even a lost against Thailand will give them another chance to qualify for the knockout stage. Group B comprises of Thailand-II, Malaysia and Indonesia.

The Bengal boys who are representing India have a superb record in the qualification as they scored as many as 23 goals in the six matches and didn’t concede a single goal. “I am a bit nervous. This is the first time we are playing a foreign team and that too in a foreign land. We will give our best,” said Saif Hussain, the left winger and also one of the rotating captains of the team.

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