“We’re taking each game as it comes”

U18s Head Coach John Kenneth Raj Spoke To Us About The Blue Colts’ Preparation Ahead Of The Final Round Of The U18 I-League, in Kolkata…

After strong performances in the group stages of the U18 I-League, Bengaluru FC’s Academy side are now set to move a step ahead as they prepare for the final round of India’s premier youth competition that begins in Kolkata, on Friday. Grouped alongside tournament favourites AIFF Academy, Minerva Punjab FC and DSK Shivajians, Head Coach John Kenneth Raj believes the Blue Colts have their work cut out.

“These young boys have prepared well and long for this competition and I know what it means for them to take part in it. We’ve been preparing since January when they returned from holidays and have had a good duration of time together. We are in a group with strong teams that have been together for years but that won’t stop us from giving our best,” John said.

The Blue Colts played two friendly matches, one each in Bellary and Bangalore, ahead of the tournament and the 42-year-old believes the results were a good way to assess his side’s progress since they were inducted into the academy in October last year.

“Some of our boys have never played in a professional environment until they joined this academy. We have a growing squad and the results we claimed in the friendlies show that we’re improving as a side. Our boys now know what is expected of them and they’ll certainly look to put the experience to use when they play in the final rounds,” Kenneth added.

While his side will be playing in the final round of the competition for the first time, the Head Coach maintains that they will be looking to make the most of every chance.

“We’re looking to take each game as it comes. The objective is for these players to have an experience that will improve them as footballers. Whether that is by playing tough competitive matches or by winning the cup is a different question but for now all I have asked of them is to go out there and give it their best.”

The Blue Colts face DSK Shivajians U18s in the opening fixture, on Friday.


Md Jaffer, Muhammed Shahad, Manav Sanjay, Gurshan Singh Sandhu, Prashanth Kalinga, Jestin George, Rajil S, Smiel Diyali, Tanmoy Saha, Mohammed Saqlain Khan, Lalrintluanga Chawnglut, Joseph Vanlalhruaia, Vijay Thangavelu, Ajay Chettri, V Vignesh, Amay Morajkar, Jacob John Kattookaren, Arun Suresh, Leon Augustine, Shelton Paul, Sourav TP, Rahul Rajan, Nonganba Singh Akoijam, Rizul Patiyal.

Head Coach: John Kenneth Raj

Head of Youth Development: John Kila

Physio: Vishnu K Nair

Team Manager: Rohit Thorat

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