Indian National Team: AIFF Announce 42 Probables For World Cup Qualifying Tie Against UAE

AIFF announced a list of 42 probables for the preparatory camp for the World Cup qualifying tie against UAE.
The All India Football Federation has released a list of 42 probables for the preparatory camp for India’s World Cup qualifying tie against UAE. The camp will begin from June 15 in Delhi and the list doesn't have several senior players, who were part of the India squad in Asian Cup 2011.

Instead, several consistent performers from the recently concluded 2010-11 season of the I-League have been included.

Following is the list of probables:

GOALKEEPERS: Subrata Pal (Pune FC), Jagroop Singh (Indian Arrows), Sandip Nandy (Kingfisher East Bengal), Karanjit Singh (Salgaocar), Laxmikant Kattimani (Dempo SC).

DEFENDERS: Gourmangi Singh, Denzel Franco, Robert Lalthlamuana, Rowilson Rodrigues (all Churchill Brothers); Thokchom Naoba Singh, Gurwinder Singh (both Kingfisher East Bengal); Raju Eknath Gaikwad (Indian Arrows), Valleriano Rebello, Debabrata Roy, Sameer Naik, Mahesh Gawli (all Dempo SC); Mohanraj, Rakesh Masih (both McDowell Mohun Bagan).

MIDFIELDERS: Mehtab Hossain, Syed Rahim Nabi, Harmanjot Khabra (all Kingfisher East Bengal); Steven Dias (Churchill Brothers); Jewel Raja Sheikh, Khan Gembam Jibon Singh, Shilton D’Silva, Lalrindika Ralte (all Indian Arrows); Gilbert Oliviera, Francis Fernandes, Anthony Barbosa, Rocus Lamare, Baldeep Singh, Khangembam Singh (all Salgaocar SC); Peter Carvalho, Climax Lawrence, Clifford Miranda (all Dempo SC); Xavier Vijay Kumar (HAL).

FORWARDS: Sunil Chhetri (Chirag United), Jeje Lalpekhlua (Indian Arrows), Joaquim Abranches (Dempo SC), CS Sabeeth, Anil Kumar (both Viva Kerala); Sushil Kumar Singh (Kingfisher East Bengal).

In addition to the above, goalkeeper Arindam Bhattacharya and midfielder Anthony Pereira will also be a part of the camp as part of their ongoing rehabilitation process.

The footballers who are a part of India’s Olympic campaign against Qatar will be joining the camp after June 23.

In an AIFF press release, India head coach Armando Colaco explained the reason for picking the youngsters and leaving out the seniors.

“I have full respect for the seniors and am aware of their contribution for Indian football. Obviously, it was a very difficult decision for me. I relied on present form and building a team for the future. Players who have played well in the I-League have been preferred over others. Hence, some big names had to be left out. If we are to look at the future, we need to concentrate on the youngsters who performed well in AFC Challenge Cup qualifiers in Kuala Lumpur,” Colaco was stated.

However, Colaco has not ruled out the chances of the seniors making their way back in the team. Players will be selected as per their current performance and not past records.

“The current list is for a specific time period with a specific plan. Anyone who performs well after that can easily walk into the National Team. Doors for the seniors haven’t been shut for ever,” Colaco said.

Colaco is expected to change the entire playing style of the Men In Blue. The Goan coach will execute plans to instil the ball possession mentality when the players meet in Delhi for the preparatory camp.

“We would focus on keeping the ball. Ball possession defines the character of a team and invariably scripts the fate of a match. But it’s not easy to play ‘simple yet breathtaking football.’ We will have special sessions with the ball and the conditioning will be done at the same time,” Colaco explained his focal point for the camp.

Colaco is fully aware of the stiff challenge that UAE can pose as India has a poor record against them. He said, “They (UAE) are a tough unit no doubt who prefer to play physical football. There are many foreigners who have naturalised the UAE National Team. After all, India did lose to them 5-0 in one of the practice matches ahead of the Asian Cup. We also need to keep in mind that the climatic conditions won’t favour us much when we play them in July.”

India will play UAE on July 23 in the away fixture and then later host them in Delhi on July 28.

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