Constantine announces 29-member squad for training camp ahead of China friendly
As the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) takes a back seat this week, it is time to shift focus to the Indian national team. The Blue Tigers will play China in a historic friendly on Saturday, October 13, at the Suzhou Olympic Sports Centre Stadium. This will be the first meeting between India and China on Chinese soil, with the last encounter taking place in the 1997 Nehru Cup in Kochi. The friendly will serve as a solid preparation for the national team ahead of the AFC Asian Cup 2019 in January.
Ahead of the highly anticipated encounter, a preparatory camp is currently being held at New Delhi before the squad leaves for China on October 10. A host of stars from the Hero ISL feature in the squad, including the usual suspects - Sunil Chhetri, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu and Jeje Lalpekhlua. A few youngsters who have impressed in the league over the past year have deservedly been called up by head coach Stephen Constantine, alongside thirteen U-23 players, who were part of the Indian squad in the SAFF Suzuki Cup 2018, which took place last month.
In a media release from the All India Football Federation (AIFF), Constantine shared his thoughts on the game ahead. “China are a strong team and the match will be a tough test for us. But we need to play these sort of games right now. Getting to play under pressure is important and an away fixture in China is exactly the kind of game we need. Hopefully, everyone stays free from injury as it's going to be an important game for the build-up to the AFC Asian Cup in January.”
The 29-member squad for the camp is as follows:
GOALKEEPERS: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Vishal Kaith, Amrinder Singh, Karanjeet Singh.
DEFENDERS: Pritam Kotal, Sarthak Golui, Sandesh Jhingan, Anas Edathodika, Salam Ranjan Singh, Subhasish Bose, Narayan Das.
MIDFIELDERS: Udanta Singh, Nikhil Poojary, Pronay Halder, Rowllin Borges, Germanpreet Singh, Anirudh Thapa, Sauvik Chakrabarti, Vinit Rai, Halicharan Narzary, Bikash Jairu, Ashique Kuruniyan, Lallianzuala Chhangte.
FORWARDS: Sunil Chhetri, Jeje Lalpekhlua, Balwant Singh, Sumeet Passi, Manvir Singh, Farukh Choudhary.