Minerva Punjab Football Club colts- The Champions of AIFF U-16 Youth League / Nike Premier Cup for 2 consecutive years (2016 and 2017) added another feather to their caps as they become the only team from the country to be invited to play two friendly matches against India U-17 World Cup team and India U-15 team scheduled to be played on March 22 and March 24, respectively at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium Fatorda, Goa. Minerva Punjab FC colts who clinched a comfortable 3-0 victory over Bengaluru based Ozone FC in the final of the Nike Premier Cup 2017 to successfully defended their title for two years in a row, stand yet another chance to make heads turn when they take on the National Team boys of the same age-groups.
Ironically 4 Players from Minerva Punjab FC colts who won the inaugural edition of the Nike Premier Cup back in 2016 were called up for the World Cup preperatory camp held in Goa after the tournament was concluded last year, namely Givson Singh, Narendra, Subham Sarangi and Manvir Singh made the cut last year. Goal-scoring machine Subham Sarangi and Rock Solid Punjabi Defender Narender made the final U17 world cup squad after a gruelling training period. Shubham Sarangi has infact scored some crucial goals for team India on their exposure trips to Russia and Brazil over the last 10 months.
The Warriors have departed from Chandigarh with the squad that won the Nike Premier Cup 2017 few weeks ago in Mumbai. Star striker Md. Sahajahan who previously featured & captained the U-13 & U-15 National team will look to impress the newly appointed National team portuguese gaffer Luis Norton De Matos, while players like Jackson Singh, Anwar Ali, Thoiba Singh and Sailo who have been regulars on the scoresheet will look to catch the eye of the new man incharge who has admitted that he is keen on finding some good new additions for U-17 World Cup squad.