Chennaiyin FC Under-15 forward Mohamed Liyaakath has been named in the India U-16 squad that will participate in a tri-nation tournament in the United Arab Emirates commencing on January 8. 14-year-old Liyaakath impressed with his fine goal-scoring form for the CFC U-13s in last season’s Hero U-13 Youth League, following which he underwent a successful trial in September 2018 that was organized by the All India Football Federation and Tamil Nadu Football Association. He made the grade from among hundreds of talented kids from across the state and was called up for an U-16s’ national camp at Bhubaneswar in November 2018. Liyaakath was subsequently drafted into the U-16s travelling party for UAE and is the only player from Tamil Nadu in the squad.
Hailing from Triplicane area in Chennai, Liyaakath was scouted by CFC at the age of 10 and has improved immensely since. He scored a whopping 23 goals in the Hero U-13 Youth League last season, finishing as top scorer in the Chennai zone, which CFC won with a 100% record in their debut campaign.
In the final round that took place in Kolkata in April 2018, the Chennaiyin FC U-13s bowed out at the group stage after drawing one and losing two games. Liyaakath however was the bright spark as he scored the equalizer in the 1-1 draw against Bengaluru’s Roots Football School. He also impressed in attack in the subsequent losses to Sudeva FC and SAI Kolkata. Liyaakath also featured in the CFC U-15 squad that won the DBYC Fr. Mohanraj Memorial U-16 Tournament in August last year.
“Mohamed absolutely deserves this opportunity to represent the India U-16s. It is testament to the hard work he has put in, with the support of his parents who have backed him wholeheartedly from a very young age. I believe it has been their dream to see him represent India and it is pleasing to see it being fulfilled so soon in his career. All of us at CFC are really proud of Mohamed and happy to have contributed to this achievement. He should give his best in this tournament and aim higher in the coming months and years,” said the CFC first team Assistant Coach and Technical Director of Youth Development – Syed Sabir Pasha, who is also a former India international.
India U-16s’ UAE Schedule:
January 8: UAE vs India U-16 (Tri-nation)
January 12: India U-16 vs Saudi Arabia (Tri-nation)
January 15: UAE vs India U-16 (Friendly)