NorthEast United FC forward VP Suhair might have been a late revelation to many, but he has consistently shown signs of a quality attacker. The 29-year-old showed his flair in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22 season with six goal contributions comprising of four goals and two assists.

Suhair, who hails from Palakkad, Kerala, has been named in the Indian men’s national football team squad for the friendlies against Bahrain and Belarus on March 23 and 26 respectively, which are being played as preparations for the 2023 AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers that are due to be held in June.

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“It’s a dream come true moment for any footballer to play for his country. While returning from our final Indian Super League fixture, I received a text message from coach Stimac saying I was included in the national team camp,” Suhair said to Times of India.

Suhair spearheaded the Highlanders’ attack alongside Laldanmawia Ralte, Deshorn Brown, and Mapuia for most of the season followed by an addition of Marcelo Pereira towards the end of the season.

“I cannot express how thrilled I am. It’s a proud feeling to train with the national team. I am enjoying each moment with the squad. The coach is fantastic and knows how to get the best out of each player,” he added.

Crippled by a great number of injuries throughout the 2021-22 campaign, Khalid Jamil’s NorthEast United FC finished at the eleventh position, managing three wins, five draws, and 12 losses out of 20 games. Despite an underwhelming season, Suhair was one of the standout players amongst the squad, making the most appearances (19 matches).

Suhair will join the likes of Brandon Fernandes, Anirudh Thapa, Pronay Halder, Jeakson Singh in the midst of others in the midfield unit. “My target is to help my country win both the friendlies and the AFC Asia Cup Qualifiers in June,” the winger commented.

Also Read: India announces 25-member squad for friendlies against Belarus and Bahrain

Suhair will be yearning to deliver his best if he gets to be on the pitch and make his mark in the Indian men’s national team when they play against hosts Bahrain at the Al Muharraq Stadium on Wednesday.

The Blue Tigers will take on Hong Kong, Afghanistan, and Cambodia in the group stage in the 2023 AFC Asia Cup Qualifiers.