Constantine stresses on building `team for future` ahead of AFC U-23 C'ship

| Updated: Jul 19, 2017 00:30 IST

Doha [Qatar], July 18 (ANI): Indian football team coach Stephen Constantine, presently in charge of the India U-23 team, prefers the 'long-term goal' rather than churning out quick results from the forthcoming AFC U-23 Championship Qualifiers which kicks-off in Doha on Wednesday. Speaking on the eve of his side's opening clash of the tournament against Syria, Constantine said, "I've been a person who have always preferred to build a 'team for the future.' I'm working with this bunch of guys so that a few may come up the ranks and land up with the senior National Team in the coming days. India U-23 headed into the Championship on the back of a two-week long camp in New Delhi followed by two back-to-back International Friendlies against Singapore in Singapore. A year back, Syria had made it to the finals of the last edition of the AFC U-23 Championship Qatar 2016. But while their campaign didn't turn out to be as planned, they look forward to bettering their record at the same venue. "This tournament is of immense importance for us and I believe, as it is for every team here. We'll give our best to qualify from this group," Syrian coach Hussein Afash mentioned. When Hussain Afash was asked whether the football acumen of Stephen Constantine who has been the vital cog behind India's recent meteoric rise would be a concern for him, the Syrian coach expressed that 'team for the future' is the one to look out for. "We're all here for the same reason. We have to build the team for the future who'll eventually feature in the senior team," he opined. Meanwhile, hosts Qatar start the campaign as the favourites. Head coach Felix Sanchez sounded pretty confident and focused. "The boys have performed well last edition but this is a new tournament and we've to start from the scratch. It's time for us to execute our plans on the pitch," Sanchez stated.(ANI)

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