India’s U-20 National football team’s head coach Shanmugam Venkatesh on Saturday announced a 23-member squad for the upcoming SAFF U-20 Championship slated to be played in Bhubaneshwar between July 25 and August 3. Notably, the team will be playing international football after almost two years when they play against Bangladesh at the Kalinga Stadium on Wednesday. The Men in Blue will walk out as defending champions, having won against Bangladesh in the final in 2019.
After this SAFF Championship, India will play in the AFC U-20 Championship Qualifiers in September where they have drawn in Group H alongside Australia, Kuwait, and hosts Iraq. While announcing the squad for the continental tournament, coach Venkatesh hoped for a better show from the boys as the expectations will be high.
“The team is quite motivated to do well both in South Asia and at the Continental level. They are aware of the value and the importance of doing well in Asia which is why the SAFF Championship is a good platform for us to prepare well,” the coach told the AIFF website.
“Being the best side in South Asia, expectations will be high. The tournament is special for us, and a great opportunity for the boys to have a taste of International football post the long pandemic,” the former India captain said.
Notably, the players selected in the 23-member squad are mostly drafted from India Arrows. The side has competed at the domestic level in the I-League and the IFA Shield over the last two seasons.
Goalkeepers: Syed Zahid Hussain Bukhari, Mohit Singh Dhami, Som Kumar.
Defenders: Amandeep, Halen Nongtdu, Bikash Yumnam, Sajad Hussain Parray, Raj Basfore, Brijesh Giri, Tankadhar Bag, Pritam Meetei Sorokhaibam.
Midfielders: Sibajit Singh Leimapokpam, Vibin Mohanan, Vinay Harji, Maheson Singh Tongbram, Sujit Singh, Harsh Sailesh Patre, Taison Singh Loitongbam, Macarton Louis Nickson.
Forwards: Gurkirat Singh, Parthib Sundar Gogoi, Himanshu Jangra, Shubho Paul.
Head Coach: Shanmugam Venkatesh.