Stimac releases ten players from India’s Hero Intercontinental Cup squad

India national team head coach Igor Stimac, on Friday, named a 25-member preliminary squad for the upcoming Hero Intercontinental Cup 2019, which will begin at the EKA Arena in Ahmedabad from July 7. The final 23-man team will be announced later.

The list was drawn up after a preparatory camp held in Mumbai with 35 players chosen last month. With the camp coming to an end, the ten players released from the squad include Vishal Kaith, Nishu Kumar, Salam Ranjan Singh, Sarthak Golui, Anwar Ali, Raynier Fernandes, Michael Soosairaj, Nikhil Poojary, Jackichand Singh and Balwant Singh. Ashique Kuruniyan was released from the camp earlier and was replaced by Jerry Lalrinzuala.

One interesting inclusion in the list of 25 is 18-year-old centre-back Narender Gahlot, who recently joined Jamshedpur FC from Indian Arrows. Mandar Rao Dessai also finds a place in the squad.

The exclusion of Raynier Fernandes and Michael Soosairaj may come as a surprise to many, especially Raynier. The Mumbai City FC was impressive during India's King's Cup campaign in Thailand.

"We are satisfied with the execution of work for the past ten days. The players worked really hard, and we are all very enthusiastic about our upcoming games. Once again, I will use the upcoming games in the tournament to have a look at all the players in action. Each one of them deserve the chance," Stimac was quoted as saying by the official AIFF website.

India are the defending champions and will kickstart the competition with the opening match against Tajikistan on July 7. The Blue Tigers' subsequent fixtures will be against DPR Korea on July 13 followed by Syria on July 16. After the round-robin phase concludes, the top two teams will face off in the final on July 19.

Here’s the list of 25:

GOALKEEPERS: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Amrinder Singh, Kamaljit Singh

DEFENDERS: Pritam Kotal, Rahul Bheke, Sandesh Jhingan, Adil Khan, Anas Edathodika, Narender Gahlot, Subhasish Bose, Jerry Lalrinzuala

MIDFIELDERS: Udanta Singh, Brandon Fernandes, Anirudh Thapa, Pronay Halder, Rowllin Borges, Vinit Rai, Sahal Abdul, Amarjit Singh, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Mandar Rao Dessai

FORWARDS: Jobby Justin, Sunil Chhetri, Farukh Choudhary, Manvir Singh

You can get tickets for the Hero Intercontinental Cup 2019 here.

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