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Soccer ties for better exposure
- JSA to select 20 footballers for Chhattisgarh, Bihar tours

The more the exposure, the better your experience.

Keeping this tried and tested adage in mind, Jamshedpur Sporting Association (JSA) will send a team of 20 footballers to Chhattisgarh and Bihar for two all-India tournaments.

JSA has already shortlisted 24 probables for the 43rd All-India Seshan Memorial Gold Cup football tournament in Bilaspur (Chhattisgarh) from February 26 to March 9 and the maiden All-India Bachha Rai Memorial tourney in Gopalganj (Bihar) from March 8 to 14.

The players have been asked to report at the hockey grounds of JRD Tata Sports Complex on Monday for selections. JSA will announce the team on Tuesday and the players will leave for Bilaspur the next day. Besides the 20 footballers, two JSA officials — a coach and a manager — will also accompany the team.

Some shortlisted players were part of the Jharkhand outfit at the recent Santosh Trophy and a few were in the city team that clinched the state trophy in Hazaribagh.

JSA football committee chairman Ramesh Mehta said the tournaments would give players more exposure, as they would play against some of the top teams. “Our boys are talented, but lack exposure, which reflects on their performance,” said Mehta.

Asked about overlapping dates of the two meets, a JSA functionary said they would ask organisers of the Bihar tourney to adjust, but it will be needed only if the state reached the finals in Bilaspur. The final match in Bilaspur is on March 9, while the Gopalganj tourney starts on March 8.