Indian footballing legend, IM Vijayan believes that the upcoming NextGen Cup scheduled to be held in the United Kingdom will be beneficial for the youngsters of the country as they will get the exposure of playing against Premier League academy teams.

The Premier League had entered into a partnership with Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL), which would see them share knowledge and expertise in all areas of football including governance, talent development, commercial growth, administration, and wider community development.

“It is the best chance the players can get. Having the opportunity to play against academy teams of the Premier League, the world’s top league at such a young age will boost the confidence of young players and give them plenty of experience,” he said in an interview.

The 53-year-old also believes that the NextGen Cup will be a stepping stone for the youngsters who are keen to play for the nation, similar to the likes of Sahal Samad and Suresh Wangjam, who are now starters for the Blue Tigers.

“I hope we are seeing a change. We are embarking on a new era of Indian football with the youngsters coming in and taking charge. India did well in the AFC Asian Cup qualifiers with so many young players making the core of the team. Now with competitions such as this, I am sure we will find many more talented players who will serve the country for long,” Vijayan added.

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