The new Indian national team coach has stamped his mark on the squad with several new faces making the 27 probables list....
The new Indian national team coach Wim Koevermans has named his list of 27 probables for the forthcoming Nehru Cup, which shall kick-off at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi from August 22, 2012, with Syria, Cameroon, Nepal and Maldives being the other team apart from the hosts, who are taking part in the tournament.
The former Dutch International has been in charge of the preparatory camp that is underway at the KSFA Stadium in Bangalore, from where the squad is expected to move to Jaypee Greens in Greater Noida in mid-August to fine tune their preparations for the tournament.
Sunil Chhetri is the only player who has been named in the 27 players list, who has not yet joined the national team training camp, but the All India Football Federation (AIFF) has written assurances from Sporting Lisbon, whose “B” side the striker currently plays for, that he will be allowed to join the national squad from 12th August onwards.
Koevermans had a detailed discussion with Chhetri’s club coach and the player himself. “I’m happy that we got confirmation from his club on his release from August 12 and that leaves us with enough time to work with the player to prepare ourselves for the Nehru Cup,” the former Netherlands defender said.
The new Indian coach has made a few changes from the squad that participated in the Challenge Cup under Savio Madeira, with Subrata Paul, who is back to full fitness, being one of the goalkeepers who made the cut, with Arindam Bhattacharya missing out.
In defense, Khelemba Meitei and Denzil Franco’s strong performances in the domestic circuit have been recognized, the duo replacing Anwar Ali and Dempo’s Samir Naik, who retired from International football after India’s ill-fated Challenge Cup campaign.
Gurwinder Singh has also made the cut, while a slightly surprising selection is of left back Mohan Raj, who has edged out his now club colleague Gurjinder Singh from the list.
There have been a host of changes in midfield as well, with East Bengal’s Mehtab Hussain, Baldeep Singh, Milan Singh, Sanju Pradhan and Alwyn George, who starred for India U-22 in Oman, being some of the prominent players to make the cut, while the Goa based trio of Adil Khan, Lenny Rodrigues and more prominently Lalrindika Ralte, who is supposedly carrying a knock, missing out.
Robin Singh and Manandeep Singh have been given a chance to stake their claim to a place in the Indian side, with Sushil Kumar and C.S Sabeeth being the casualties in attack.
The Coach will be selecting the final 20-member squad ahead of the Nehru Cup.
The 27-member list stays as follows:
GOALKEEPERS: Subrata Paul, Subhasish Roychowdhury, Karanjeet Singh.
DEFENDERS: Nirmal Chettri, Denzil Franco, Gourmangi Singh, Gurwinder Singh, Raju Gaikwad, Khelemba Meitei, Syed Rahim Nabi, Mohan Raj.
MIDFIELDERS: Mehtab Hussain, Rocus Lamare, Milan Singh, Baldeep Singh, Jewel Raja, Francis Fernandes, Alwyn George, Anthony Pereira, Gilbert Oliviera, Sanju Pradhan, Clifford Miranda,
FORWARDS: Robin Singh, Sunil Chhetri, Manandeep Singh, Jeje Lalpekhlua, Joaquim Abranches.
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