New Delhi:Delhi's budding soccer talent will rub shoulders with some international competition when two teams from the Simla Youngs Football Club participate in the Welsh Super Cup that kicks off in July.
32 children from New Delhi who're boarding the flight to Wales are excited and scared, as they get ready for their first international outing.
Kids train hard
The preparations are on full swing at the capital's Simla Youngs Football Club that's sending an Under-12 and an Under-16 team to play in England s No 1 international summer soccer tournament.
"We are training hard, very excited, but a little afraid also, don t know what the competition will be like. We're already like semi-superstars as we are going for the Welsh Super Cup. Lots of recognition in school from our peers," said Prithvi, Captain, U-16 Team.
"I think it gives a great boost to Indian football, we get to see what the players and facilities are like. I think we should send more Indian teams, plus the tournament is a very prestigious one," said Rohan, Member, U-16 Team.
The Welsh Super Cup is a tournament that's discovered the likes of Andriy Shevchenko, Steven Gerrard and Michael Owen.
It'll see participation from the best in Europe, USA and Canada. Here though, it seems like the children and their coach are the only ones bothered. Funds come from parents and private investors, who care for the sport.
"Its the club culture that has to be developed, before you play for India, you should play for community team. There have to be practice grounds, inter club matches. That should be the focus.
"It doesn't matter to me if the government gives funds or not our club is clear, we'll not accept government funds, we don t want it, we think they're a part of the problem," said Tushar Dev, Coach, Simla Youngs.
Football's popularity is increasing slowly and steadily in India and it's these kinds of age group competitions that are a kind of reality check of where we stand.
"I think it's a great encouragement, great exposure, it will only bring up his performance level, because in school they're only playing with other school teams," said a junior footballer's mother.
Balancing school books and a soccer ball isn't the easiest task, add to that the pressure of playing an international tournament without a sponsor.
But that hasn't stopped these boys from pursuing their dreams of putting India somewhere on the football map.