Kochi: Indian football team coach Wim Koevermans says the upcoming international friendly against Palestine will be a "very important test" for some players and it will help him make his choices ahead of the AFC Challenge Cup qualifiers.
"The friendly will help me make my choices. It's an important test for some players, a very important one. Obviously prior to the AFC Challenge Cup qualifiers, we will have a training camp in Pune where we will spend over two weeks on the training pitch," Koevermans said in Kochi on Sunday.
Asked how significant is the Palestine match, the Dutchman said, "Every game is important for the national team. We want to gain as much experience as possible and improve ourselves at the same time. Unless you improve, you won't step up the ladder in FIFA rankings."
He further said that the match is "an opportunity to see players and gauge their present form".
Koevermans, who has travelled across the country to spot talents said, "We just can't break the dynamics of the team especially after the foundation which we laid in the Nehru Cup. We need to sustain that.
"But in the I-League we have watched a lot of players to cover some positions. I may bring in some new faces in the Pune camp if needed."
Koevermans called Palestine a very "strong" opposition.
"I have watched videos of them and that has given me a good idea about their team. They are a very strong side. In December 2012, they had played the West Asia Cup where they beat Lebanon and went down narrowly to Oman and Kuwait by an identical 1-2 margin.
"Some of their players even play in tough competitive leagues outside Palestine."
Asked if age is a constraint for any player, he said, "You need to find the right mix. I will never compromise on quality. If a young boy displays quality on the turf, he will get a chance for sure. And once you get it, you need to perform. The same theory implies for everyone.