Vantage FFSL President’s Cup helped to unearth hidden talent, says Amir Alagic | Daily News


Vantage FFSL President’s Cup helped to unearth hidden talent, says Amir Alagic

The inaugural Vantage FFSL President’s Cup ended on a high note with Colombo Football Club emerging Champions drubbing Blue Eagles Sports Club by 4 goals to nil to clinch the title. The main man who initiated this tournament was Amir Alagic, the Technical Director of the Football Federation of Sri Lanka (FFSL), whose advice was sought in formulating this tournament, which ultimately turned out to be a kick start event for the game of Football in the country, with the approval of Anura de Silva, FFSL, President. Daily News spoke to Amir to get his views and how this tournament has assisted him to unearth the hidden talents for future teams, while also improving the standards of players with the outcome of this tournament.

The FFSL was struggling to conduct their regular calendar of events due to various obstacles including the Easter Sunday attacks, inclement weather conditions followed by the Covid-19 pandemic since last March. With a vision of “Getting back to Football” the FFSL decided to launch a tournament involving 20 teams by supporting them with financial assistance, with a grant from the World Governing body FIFA.

They conducted this tournament with three first round matches dividing these 20 teams into five groups, slating four teams in a group. A higher level of competition was witnessed with some new players being scouted, with a panel headed by Amir with an intention of picking the 24 players for testing, which will be pruned down to 19 players. The main idea is to form a squad in line to prepare for the remaining World Cup qualifying round matches next March, coinciding with selecting players for the under-23 youth squad, which will serve as a backup side for the senior national team.

“I wanted to see the reality of the playing and coaching situation in Sri Lanka. Before the commencement of this tournament, I formed an under 20 and 23 squads to be the base for the next World Cup national team. For the time being this tournament helped us to spot the best players in the country.

With these players along with the overseas players who are eligible to represent the country will be included for the next year World Cup qualifiers and the SAG games in Pakistan.” Said Amir Alagic.

Amir is to conduct a coaching workshop for elite coaches in Sri Lanka on September 5 and 6 followed by a testing of players which include physical, medical, mental and tactical tests by the experts and coaching staff, on September 7 and 8.

After this testing 19 players will undergo training with Amir for three weeks.

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