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India won’t be easy to beat at the AFC Championship: coach

A hard taskmaster, Nicolai Adam is in the process of identifying and nurturing young Indian talent for the AFC Championship (under-16) and the Under-17 World Cup. In an e-mail interview to The Hindu, the German explains his training methods and the need for more Overseas Scouting Project (OSP) trials.

How has your role evolved since you started a year-and-a-half back?

Working daily with the team, on and off the pitch, is the key to deeply understand each other and know what is finally needed to perform on the highest possible level. I feel that the players more deeply understand what we do and why we do it.

Tell us the exposure the team is getting in Germany

Our days here are ‘total football’ — theory lessons, video analysis, matches versus top opponents, European Championship on TV (now over), U-19 European Championship (held in Germany and won by France) and observations of other football matches if possible and, of course, a lot of training!

What are the key attributes do you look for in a player?

How a player handles the ball under pressure, and with tempo, and the ability to learn.

Can you name a player who has the potential to make it to the top?

It’s too early to predict something like this. It is still a very long way from U17 to professional football.

Have you found the left-footed player you are searching for?

We are expecting a left-footed player in the next couple of days to join us here for trials.

Is the Overseas Scouting Project (OSP) helpful? How would you rate the boys picked from the project?

The OSP is a must and we hope to find more talented players in the future. I need time to assess these players.

Playing from the back has been Germany’s strong point…Are you preparing the team in the same manner?

A strong defence is the key to successful football when we only look at results. Defending is always a team effort and starts with number 9 up front.

Where do you see the team finishing in the AFC Championship and World Cup (under-17)?

The team will be well prepared for the AFC Championship and won’t be easy to beat. That’s all we are focusing on for now.

Always one step after the other.

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