AIFF developmental side Indian Arrows’ aim is to get its new batch of players ready for the 2022 AFC U-19 Qualifiers, head coach Venkatesh Shanmugam said on Tuesday.

The Arrows are currently quarantining in Kolkata ahead of the 2020-’21 season of the I-League beginning on January 9.

“It is the vision of the AIFF to prepare this batch of boys for the 2022 AFC U-19 Qualifiers. For the boys at this stage of their footballing careers, it is a great opportunity for them to play football at a senior level,” Venkatesh said during a virtual media interaction.

The new batch of Indian Arrows players got their first taste of life in senior football when they participated in the IFA Shield earlier this month.

Venkatesh believes that the experience will help the boys ahead of the I-League.

“We are thankful for the opportunity to play in the IFA Shield. Playing against senior teams with foreign players certainly helped prepare the boys for what is to come once the I-League gets underway,” Venkatesh stated.

“The results may not have been in our favour, but they were close matches, and the boys have learnt a lot.”