Chennaiyin FC Under 13s ready for final round challenge

Chennaiyin FC’s Under 13 team is set to feature in the final round of the Under 13 National Youth League here from tomorrow, having qualified by winning the Chennai zone with a 100% record.

This is the debut season for Chennaiyin FC U-13s and they will be up against Roots Football School from Bengaluru, Delhi’s Sudeva FC and SAI Kolkata in Group C. There are 11 teams from all around the country in the final round of the U-13 National Youth League and Chennaiyin FC is the only ISL franchise that has qualified.

There are three groups with each group winner and one best second placed team progressing to the semis. CFC U-13s start their campaign against Roots Football School tomorrow with all their group matches taking place at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan (VYBK) Practice Ground here.

Much like the U-15 team, which also qualified for the final round in their debut campaign earlier in the season, the CFC U-13s also comprise players only from Tamil Nadu. The 20-member squad that has travelled to Kolkata comprises 15 players from Chennai and 5 from Thanjavur and Coimbatore districts combined. They played a practice match against Kolkata’s United Sports Club U-13s on Wednesday here and won 3-1.

Chennaiyin FC first team assistant coach Syed Sabir Pasha, who is also the club’s Technical Director, Youth Development, is proud of the team’s qualification to the final round and now hopes to see the boys make the most of the opportunity of playing against teams from all around the country.

“This group has potential and showed good maturity and quality in the Chennai zone. The national round is a big step up but this is the kind of exposure our boys need. I am very proud of each and every one of them and wish the whole team the very best,” Pasha said.

After comprehensively winning the Chennai zone that included a 3-0 win over Football Plus on February 19 in their last fixture, which they only needed to draw to qualify, the boys dispersed to prepare for their exams in the months of March and early April. They resumed training last week and are now set for three games in five days, aiming to show their potential on the national stage.

Chennaiyin FC U-13s’ Final Round Group C Fixtures: Roots Football School vs CFC (29th April – 9 AM), CFC vs Sudeva FC (1st May – 4 PM), CFC vs SAI Kolkata (3rd May – 4 PM)

Chennaiyin FC U-13s Final Round Squad List:

Goalkeepers: Amarishwar Reddy (Chennai), Mohan Raj (Chennai)

Defenders: Caron Kennedy (Thanjavur), Aravind Karthickeyan (Chennai), Akash Mathi (Chennai), Kuganeshwaran Prabakaran (Chennai), Nagulan Singaravelu (Coimbatore), Vinay Charan Saravanan (Chennai)

Midfielders: Rahul Kamaraj (C) (Chennai), Allen Rajkumar (Chennai), Naresh Kumar (Chennai), Guhan E. (Chennai), Abilash Sivakumar (Coimbatore), Haribalan Barathidasan (Chennai), Karan Chakravarthy (Coimbatore), Preyarhanjan Rajkumar (Coimbatore)

Forwards: Mohamed Liyaakath (Chennai), Suriya K. (Chennai), Prithiv Tejeshwar (Chennai), SK Mohamed Irfan Salaudeen (Chennai)

Head Coach: Y. Kishore

Team Manager: S. Ramakrishnan