With five more days left for the FIFA U-17 World Cup to kick-off, Indian U-17 World Cup team players on Sunday thanked the All India Football Federation (AIFF) for arranging all logistical arrangements for their parents to watch them play live at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Delhi.
Captain Amarjit Singh sounded ecstatic saying: "On behalf of the team, I can say that the AIFF has already planned to get our families to Delhi and host them so that they can watch our games," only to add: "Even during the AFC U-16 Championship in Goa (in September 2015), the AIFF had ensured that our parents were present during the matches and that made the occasion all the more memorable for us."
"Right from our first day at the AIFF Academy in Goa, the AIFF has taken exceptional care of us and Praful-sir (Praful Patel, President, AIFF) and Kushal-sir (Kushal Das, General Secretary, AIFF) have told us about our secured future plan which we are very comfortable with. We will give our best on the field to make the Nation proud," he further stated.
The entire contingent, in fact, couldn't hide their excitement when they heard that the process to bring their parents to the Capital have already been on for some time.
"This is so motivational," Aniket Jadhav maintained. "It's a great motivation to have your parents around to watch you play in a World Cup," he added.
Sanjeev Stalin, who hails from Bengaluru, even said that it's a "pre-Diwali gift for him."
"The last time during AFC U-16 finals all our parents were here. It's always nice to see your dear ones during the Championship. Thank you AIFF," he uttered.
Manipur's Md. Shahjahan admitted this is a "novel concept" for him.
"I wasn't in the squad during the AFC U-16 Finals but since then I have only heard stories from my teammates about their parents cheering for them. On the 6th (October 6, 2017) when I step on to the ground, I know my parents will be the loudest cheerleaders. Nothing can be more inspirational for me."
The Indian Colts face USA on October 6, before locking horns with Colombia and Ghana on October 9 and October 12 respectively at New Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
The list of the 21 selected players follows below:
Goalkeepers: Dheeraj Singh, Prabhsukhan Gill, Sunny Dhaliwal
Defenders: Boris Singh, Jitendra Singh, Anwar Ali, Sanjeev Stalin, Hendry Antonay, Namit Deshpande
Midfielders: Suresh Singh, Ninthoinganba Meetei, Amarjit Singh Kiyam, Abhijit Sarkar, Komal Thatal, Lalengmawia, Jeakson Singh, Nongdamba Naorem, Rahul Kannoly Praveen, Md. Shahjahan
Forwards: Rahim Ali, Aniket Jadhav.