The Overseas Scouting project, which was launched as a joint venture between the All India Football Federation (AIFF) and Sports Authority of India (SAI), has been a huge hit for scouting Indian talents outside of the nation as it has beefed up the ranks of the Indian U-17 World Cup squad through two new recruitments.
Chief Operating Officer of the Indian U-17 World Cup Squad Abhishek Yadav, the former Indian captain talks at length about the two NRIs, who are now part of the U-17 team and their future plans.
When quizzed as to how the Indian U-17 World Cup team has been benefited from the Overseas Scouting Project, Abhishek said, "One US national and one Canadian national have joined the Indian U-17 World Cup Squad's camp. Namit Deshpande, who lives and studies in the US, is a good player & will strengthen the squad. Namit had a valid Indian passport and he is eligible to play while the Canadian national, Sunny Dhaliwal, has surrendered his Canadian passport now and acquired an Indian passport."
"It should be known that getting these boys here has been a joint effort between the respective parents, the AIFF and SAI & the concerned ministry. The families have taken a significant step, primarily driven by the urge to serve the country through football. They have set an example for dozens of others to follow," he added.
Emphasizing on the importance of the Overseas Scouting Portal, Abhishek revealed that a lot of diversity can be brought to the team by roping in foreign players, which would eventually help in bolstering the confidence of the team.
"Overseas players bring diversity into the team. They have a different perspective; they have grown up playing against different nationalities, used to a different climate. These and several other nuanced factors have the potential to bolster the confidence of the team & gives the head coach additional options," he elaborated.