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17 state boys vie for AIFF selection

- Final test for Jamshedpur and Ranchi players in Gurgaon from July 13

Ten wannabe footballers from Jamshedpur and its adjoining areas have got a call for the final selection trials of the All India Football Federation (AIFF) that is on a selection spree from across the country.

The bunch of soccer talents, who made the cut beating 12 others from their region, will now try and impress the AIFF talent scouts at the Tau Devi Lal Stadium in Gurgaon on July 13 and 14 for clearing the final hurdle.

The 10 footballers — Girish Munda, Bir Singh Pingua, Ashish Mukhi, Salastine Tirkey, Mongla Munda, Ajay Jarika, Shiva Munda, Mahavir Mukhi, Avinash Mukhi and Sanjay Kisku — if selected will be inducted as cadets in one of the four residential academies that AIFF is setting up in Mumbai, Calcutta, Bangalore and Delhi.

While the structures in Delhi and Mumbai are ready for inauguration, work is on in full swing in Calcutta and Bangalore.

Apart from the Jamshedpur players, seven soccer talents from Ranchi have also been named in the list for the final trials. The seven players from the state capital are Abhijeet Oraon, Amit Minz, Lalit Mahato, J. Oraon, Surya Tirkey, Shubham Kujur and Ram Kachyap.

Sources said that the national soccer body had also sent out invitations to all the coaches/representatives of the selected aspirants to come watch their wards sweat it out in the final selection round.

“Those selected will have to assemble at the Gurgaon venue by July 12. We will take care of the travel allowance, accommodation and food needs of the boys and their representatives,” said Ahsan Khalid, who is co-ordinating the trials on behalf of chief talent spotter Rohit Parashar.

AIFF had initially picked 22 footballers from the city after a selection trial at Gopal Maidan on June 28.

The football body then pruned the list to 10 based on specific inputs given by Parashar.

The 17 boys from the state now will rub shoulders and pit their talents against the best from 22 other AIFF centres from across the country for their final berths.

Once inducted in the residential academies, the boys will train under experienced coaches, some of who are even likely to be hired from abroad. The aim, the soccer bosses claimed, was to harness aspiring talents who are otherwise deprived of basic training facilities.

“It is a big opportunity for the boys. It will be like their first steps in the big world of soccer. Most of the aspirants are extremely skilled and will improve further once selected in the academies. There will be experienced hands who would help chisel their talents ,” Khalid said.