Fresh faces determined to prove worth in national camp for Bahrain friendlies

New entrants in the Indian national team setup are charged up to make their opportunities count as the probables assembled in Pune for the preparatory camp ahead of the international friendlies in Bahrain, later this month.

15 Indian players reported to the camp, as the rest of the pack will fly to the city following their commitments in the ongoing Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22. The team will leave for Bahrain on March 21 and play against the hosts a couple of days later. The Blue Tigers will be up against Belarus on March 26.

Eight fresh faces - Prabhshukhan Gill, Mohammad Nawaz, Deepak Tangri, Roshan Singh, Vikram Partap Singh, Suhair VP, Aniket Jadav, and Jerry Mawihmingthanga, have been summoned by head coach Igor Stimac for the camp.

Suhair VP, whose exploits with the Highlanders forced the national team manager to bring him for the upcoming assignment, was elated by having the opportunity of this magnitude.

“This is a dream come true for me, not just for me, but my entire family. I have not stopped training since playing my last competitive match, and am on a strict diet, and have approached all fitness sessions with extreme seriousness prior to joining the camp,” said the Indian footballer, as reported by the-aiff.com.

Naorem Roshan Singh, the Indian player with most assists in the Hero ISL 2021-22 till now, is determined to impress the gaffer and stud his name permanently in the Blue Tigers setup.

“Growing up in Manipur as a kid, I always dreamt of representing my country at the senior level. There are many top players in the camp from the best clubs in the country – all of whom are much more experienced than me. I understand I will have to work incredibly hard to prove myself,” stated Naorem.

Jerry Mawihmingthanga, who was on the scoresheet for Odisha FC thrice this season, also sang along the same lines.

“I am grateful to the coach for his appreciation of my efforts. This is my chance to prove my worth, and I need to work harder, and will do my best,” quipped Jerry Mawihmingthanga.

India’s upcoming fixture is part of the build-up for the AFC Asian Cup 2023 Qualifiers in June, later this year. Stimac’s men have been pitted in Group D alongside Cambodia, Hong Kong and Afghanistan, with all the matches to be played in Kolkata.

Danish Farooq, one of Bengaluru FC’s most influential players this season, stated his selection as ‘one of the sweetest moments’ in his career.

“It's one of the sweetest moments for me to get a call up to the National Camp. But this is just a first step. I need to work harder and try to get into the final list to Bahrain,” said Farooq.

Anwar Ali, a part of India's 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup campaign and now a regular in the FC Goa unit, expressed delight with the prospect of earning a national call-up.

“I am extremely excited to get a call for the Senior Team Camp. I need to make the most of the call up in my effort to cement my place in the team, said Anwar.

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