New Delhi: India U-19 has flown off to Russia after announcing the final 18-men strong squad that will play the Granatkin Memorial Tournament 2019 that will be held in St. Petersburg.
A total of 12 teams participating in the tournament have been divided into three groups, with Argentina, Armenia, Turkey, Greece, Iran, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan being some of the other participating teams. The tournament is conducted in memory of the first FIFA Vice-President Valentin Granatkin.
India has been grouped alongside hosts Russia, Bulgaria and Moldova in the tournament. India will take on hosts Russia in the campaign opener. Coach Floyd Pinto maintained that he would be using the platform to “give every member as much game time as possible.”
"We have travelled with an 18-member squad. Our primary target will be to give every member as much game time as possible. This is a fresh squad with a mix of the boys from Indian Arrows, boys from the U-16 team who had qualified to quarterfinals of AFC U16 Championship (in 2018), and a new group of boys who have made it through the trials." Pinto added.
"I am sure, the boys will love the weather,” Floyd maintained. "Our primary lookout will be acclimatise as soon as possible, and play to our true potential,” the Coach expressed.
"It's a very big tournament. It's nothing less than an opportunity for me as well as for the entire team to assess ourselves against quality opponents,” said striker Rohit Danu who is a part of this squad.
Midfielder Sanjeev Stalin, who will be playing for the second time in this tournament said, "Football is a tough game. We know whom we are going to play against. But we have to believe in ourselves, and execute it on the pitch. We will try to play to our best, and overcome the challenges."
The 18-member squad is as follows:
GOALKEEPERS: Prabhsukhan Singh Gill, Niraj Kumar.
DEFENDERS: Akash Mishra, Muhammed Rafi, Sumit Rathi, Shabas Ahammed, Jitendra Singh.
MIDFIELDERS: Sanjeev Stalin, Jeakson Singh Thounaojam, Ninthoinganba Meetei Khumanthem, Givson Singh Moirangthem, Vikram Partap Singh, Ricky John Shabong, Lalchhanhima Sailo, Muhammed Basith Parathodi, Robin Yadav.
FORWARDS: Harmanpreet Singh, Rohit Danu.
India's schedule in the tournament is as follows:
June 4: India vs Russia (IST 8.30 PM).
June 6: India vs Moldova (IST 2.30 PM).
June 9: India vs Bulgaria (IST 2.30 PM)