AIFF director gives thumbs-up to Goa football age group meets

Updated: Jun 10, 2010, 15:54 PM IST

Kolkata: The Goa football model, which
stresses on age group meets in the state, can be an example
for others to follow, Indian under-19 coach and AIFF technical
director Colin Toal said.

In the city to spot talents from the ongoing National
Junior Football Championship for Dr BC Roy Trophy, Toal today
said, "In Goa, there are different age group tournaments not
only for the clubs, but also among the villages. They are
doing a good job."

"The GFA model can serve as a very good example as it
follows a pyramidal structure with the junior, youth and
village league at the base and the professional league at the
top," he said congratulating the Goa Football Association for
implementing a `well structured` youth development programme.

Toal is in the city with four spotters who are looking
for talent for the Indian under-19 squad.

Toal said the purpose of youth development is defeated if
the state associations do not participate in the process.

"The under-14, 16 and 19 age group tournaments should
form the core of the calendar of programmes of every state
association," Toal said.

"The programme of the state associations form the base of
development from which we can have a strong I-League and good
national team," he said urging the need to have a strong base
if one wishes to see Indian football prospering.

Toal will be picking 75 boys initially for a
selection-cum-coaching camp in July. The group will be pruned
to a 30-member group which will form the base of the Indian
team that will pay the Asian championship qualifiers.

Asked about the proposed junior team that will play in
the I-League, Toal said the team is likely to be picked from
the group of boys who played for Indian under-19 in the
previous season.

"They are no longer under my charge, they will be looked
after by the national coach," he said.

Speaking about the 2011 Asian Cup, the Englishman said,

"The AFC (Asian Football Confederation) stressed on the fact
that while it is a good thing that India will be playing the
prestigious meet after a long gap, the country needs to
strengthen the I-League."