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Pykka selections draw 200 aspirants

More than 200 budding footballers, both boys and girls, turned up to try their luck at the two-day selection trials for East Singhbhum Panchayat Yuva Krida Aur Khel Abhiyan (Pykka) that kicked off at Armoury grounds on Wednesday.

The selected players will represent the district squad in the state championship to be held at Birsa Munda stadium in Ranchi on February 22 and 23.

All the Under-16 aspirants showed seriousness to book berths in the event organised by the sports department.

The selectors, on their part, were also very strict in assessing the age of the players. Besides keenly verifying the certificates issued by school principals, the selectors allowed only those candidates who had less than 28 teeth.

With so many aspirants turning up, the organisers had to conduct nine short-duration matches.

Although 200 budding soccer players came, the boys outnumbered the eves by huge margin.

“There were 190 boys and only a handful of girls. This shows that there is lot of craze for soccer in the hinterlands,” said Ravinder Murmu, district co-ordinator of Pykka. But, he added, that most girls would come on Thursday.

Among the boys, the district Pykka shortlisted 27 for the second day trials. “We could not shortlist the girls, as only 15 of them turned up,” said Murmu.

The 16-member side will be announced after the trials on Thursday. “We are looking forward to forming a strong squad for the state meet,” Murmu added.

One of the organisers added that based on the performance at the state championship, Jharkhand side might be selected for the Pykka national meet to be held in Ranchi from March 11.

The selected players will attend a training camp from February 24.