14.09.2016: AIFF PRESS RELEASE : At the Official Pre-Tournament Press Conference of the AFC U-16 Championship India 2016, Nicolai Adam, Head Coach, Indian U-16 National Team reiterated that the “target” is to make it to the semi-finals of the Championship.

“I have also made no secret of our target. We want to make it to the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 on merit and not as automatic hosts,” he stated in Goa on Tuesday (September 14, 2016). “If we are able to achieve it will be a sensation. It would be history for Indian Football.”

“But at the same time we are missing five of our Players. So whether we are able to achieve our target or not, I can’t really commit. But yeah, the target hasn’t changed.” India take on United Arab Emirates in their first Group A match at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Fatorda on Wednesday (September 15, 2016). The four semifinalists among the 16 participating Teams would earn a direct ticket to the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017.

“Everyone knows how we have prepared for this Championship. There’s no secret to that,” Nicolai added. “I am happy with the preparation which we have had so far. We have had our exposure tour in Germany and Norway for the past three months and we have played 19 matches so far. We are looking forward to start our campaign and hope for the best,” he said in one breath.

The skies have opened up in Goa since Monday night and there have been short spells of showers all through the day since then. Nicolai also stressed that he is taking one match at a time.“You ask the Coach from UAE and he will tell you that they take us seriously. If you ask me, I will also answer the same,” he quipped.Complementing his UAE counterpart Abdelmajeed Ibrahim Mohamed Alnemer Nicolai maintained that every Team “stands in with a chance in Youth Football.”

“Every Teams stand with a chance in Youth Football. At the moment, we are focusing entirely on UAE. The moment it finishes, we will shift our focus to the next match against Saudi Arabia. That’s how we approach it – match by match.” Nicolai also made a mention of Aimol Reamsochung who fractured his leg in the last practice match in Germany.“We will miss him. He has not recovered. He had 49 stitches and at that moment it was pretty bad,” he recollected.

Later speaking to Nicolai informed that the “boys are ready.”All Teams have made it to the Finals after having qualified from the Qualifiers a year back. But we will be competitive. We will fight.”