Under-23 squad of Bayern in Kolkata for exhibition matches

January 15th, 2009 - 11:59 pm ICT by IANS  

Bayern MunichKolkata, Jan 15 (IANS) The under-23 squad of German soccer giants F C Bayern Munich arrived here Thursday for a week-long visit during which they will play three exhibition matches, officials said.”We are very happy to be back here. We got an invitation to train and play a few practice matches here and we grabbed the offer. It will be very nice to train in a warmer climate as during winter, it’s very difficult to train in our country owing to freezing conditions,” Bayern’s chief coach, youth development programme, Verman Kahn told reporters at the East Bengal ground.

Der Bomber Gerd Muller, who is the squad’s assistant coach, is expected to arrive Friday.

Bayern will play opposite East Bengal Jan 17 at Barasat Stadium and Jan 19 at East Bengal ground. They will then move to the north Bengal town of Siliguri to take on the Siliguri Mayor’s XI at Kanchenjunga Stadium Jan 21.

Terming youth development as the key to progress, Kahn said the club has produced more than 70 quality players through the scheme and they are now playing in the Bundesliga and other top leagues.

Another factor for the German side’s trip is the opportunity to visit the proposed Bengal Techno Bayern Academy (BTBA) in Burdwan during their week-long stay.

Making a special mention of team member Thomas Muller, Kahn said Muller has scored nine goals in 19 matches so far in the third division league.

The team also has three overseas players from Ghana, Austria and Turkey in their ranks.

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