Cope, hope, and scope for India U-17s' Korou Singh
The 16-year-old has been one of the key players in the India U-17 side right from the first tournament that the current batch played together, which was the SAFF U-17 Championship in 2022, and then on to the AFC U-17 Asian Cup Qualifiers last year. Now on a preparation path towards the Asian Cup, Korou has dished out some fine performances for his side, scoring goals against Atletico de Madrid U-17s and Getafe U-18s in training matches.
Hopes and dreams are aplenty for India U-17 Men's team attacker Korou Singh, who, along with his teammates, is getting set for what would be the biggest tournament in their fledgling careers so far - the AFC U-17 Asian Cup. The 16-year-old has been one of the key players in the India U-17 side right from the first tournament that the current batch played together, which was the SAFF U-17 Championship in 2022, and then on to the AFC U-17 Asian Cup Qualifiers last year. Now on a preparation path towards the Asian Cup, Korou has dished out some fine performances for his side, scoring goals against Atletico de Madrid U-17s and Getafe U-18s in training matches.
"Our time in Spain has been really good. We have played a lot of tough matches, and also trained in some of the best facilities available to us," Korou said to the-aiff.com. "Playing against such big clubs has really motivated us all to play better, to improve ourselves, and to learn new things. I think we are all now a bit more comfortable on the ball as well," added the player.
The team also had the fortune of being visited by former Spanish World Cup-winning striker and current Atletico de Madrid junior team coach Fernando Torres, and his team of coaches, who also took to training the boys in a couple of sessions. "It was a dream come true to meet a legend like Fernando Torres. We also got to interact with him and gain more knowledge from his football insights. It's been a holistic experience so far," he said.
Six training matches were completed in Spain - Atletico de Madrid U-17 (4-1), Leganes U-18 (0-2), Atletico de Madrileno U-16 (2-1), Real Madrid U-17 (3-3), Getafe U-18 (1-3), Atletico de Madrid U-18 (0-4) - the Blue Colts will now head to Germany, where they are set to play more training matches against the youth teams of Bundesliga clubs over the next two weeks. "We have two weeks in Germany ahead of us now, and we need to use that time to learn as much as possible before we finally go to Thailand for the Asian Cup," said Korou.
The motivation is definitely high, and we want to do well there," added Korou. A natural talent as an attacking player, Korou never really received any formal training in the beautiful game, though he began playing with his friends at the age of nine. However, his life would take a turn for the worse a year later when he lost both his parents to the tides of a nearby river.
Raised by cousins who were ever supportive of his dreams of becoming a footballer, Korou went on to give trials for Sudeva Delhi FC, and duly got selected. "Getting into Sudeva was a big break for me. It was not a very good time for my family, and we all had suffered, but finally, something good had happened, and that gave me a lot of hope," said Korou.
"It was at Sudeva that I started getting professional training for the first time, and my game also began to improve," added Korou. The youngster also got an opportunity to play in the 2021 Durand Cup, where he faced top teams like Jamshedpur FC and FC Goa. His performances in the Durand Cup caught the eye of the National scouts, who brought him into the India U-17 camp.
"The Durand Cup was a big experience for me. Playing against such top players was of course very difficult, but it was an eye-opener," said Korou. "It also gave me the opportunity to be spotted for the national team, and I am so grateful for that," added Korou.
Now that Korou is on the brink of playing one of the most prestigious junior tournaments in Asia, his cousins and siblings, who have looked after him since the passing of his parents, are ever so proud. "I am sure they are proud that I am playing for India now. They want me to play professionally in a few years, and to play the senior national team further down the line," said Korou. (ANI)
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)