Stimac names six Hyderabad FC players in his preliminary squad for Oman and UAE friendlies

Indian national team head coach Igor Stimac named six Hyderabad FC players in his 35-man preliminary squad for the upcoming friendlies against Oman (March 25) and UAE (March 29), the All India Football Federation (AIFF) announced on Tuesday. Many new players have been shortlisted by Stimac ahead of these matches, which will be hosted in Dubai. The final squad of 28 players will be announced after the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 final on March 13.

Many players who have enjoyed a solid Hero ISL 2020-21 campaign have been selected in the preliminary list. Some of these players include Hyderabad FC’s Akash Mishra, Mohammed Yasir, Chinglensana Singh, Liston Colaco and Hitesh Sharma. FC Goa’s super-sub Ishan Pandita and their young goalkeeper Dheeraj Singh also make the cut. NorthEast United FC’s Lalengmawia was also rewarded with a place in the 35-man list after helping the Highlanders to a top-four league stage finish.

Sharing his thoughts on the new players on the list, Stimac said: “It’s been a difficult year for all of us and finally, we are all getting together. It will be great to meet some new young guns and to check how bright our future is with them.”

“I know the season was a tough one and players might be overloaded but, we have enough time to refresh their legs and brains. However, many of them will have a break of two weeks without any organised training sessions prior to joining the camp. Hopefully, they will execute their individual working plans,” the Croat added.

Notable absentees from the list include Brandon Fernandes, Rahul Bheke, Sahal Abdul Samad and Asish Rai who will be missing due to injuries, head coach Stimac confirmed.

The Blue Tigers last played international matches against Afghanistan and Oman in November 2019 for the 2022 FIFA World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup joint qualifiers.

The 35-member preliminary Indian squad:

Goalkeepers: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Amrinder Singh, Subhashish Roy Chowdhury, Dheeraj Singh, Vishal Kaith

Defenders: Seriton Fernandes, Ashutosh Mehta, Akash Mishra, Pritam Kotal, Sandesh Jhingan, Chinglensana Singh, Sarthak Golui, Adil Khan, Mandar Rao Dessai, Prabir Das, Mashoor Shereef.

Midfielders: Udanta Singh, Rowllin Borges, Lalengmawia, Jeakson Singh, Raynier Fernandes, Anirudh Thapa, Bipin Singh, Mohammed Yasir, Suresh Wangjam, Liston Colaco, Halicharan Narzary, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Ashique Kuruniyan, Rahul KP, Hitesh Sharma, Farukh Choudhary

Forwards: Manvir Singh, Sunil Chhetri, Ishan Pandita.

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