New Delhi: The India U-15 national football team squad to take part in the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Championship 2019 was announced officially yesterday. The India U-15 was in Thailand earlier in July, where they played youth teams of Thai clubs as a part of preparations and head coach Bibiano Fernandes is confident of his boys.
"The boys are fully ready for the SAFF Championship. The Thailand trip was good preparation and it really helped in boosting the confidence of the boys. The whole team is in the right frame of mind and as we go into the Championship, I couldn’t ask for more,” said Fernandes.
“All four have been focusing a lot on their youth, and moreover, they have all been preparing well for this tournament. We will give each team the utmost respect,” he said.
This is the first time India will be playing as hosts. The matches will be played at Kalyani Stadium of Kalyani, West Bengal. Bibiano did not shy from talking about the home advantage his team will enjoy.
“Playing in front of a home crowd is always exciting as fans and supporters can always lift up the team,” he said. “West Bengal has always had a history of amazing fans and I hope, they turn up in good numbers to support us also. In return, we will also try to give them a display they will be proud of.
While Bangladesh will come into the tournament as defending champions, India being the most successful team of the tournament, having won the tournament twice, will be looking to add one more," said Bibiano.
"The objective will definitely be to win the Championship. SAFF has always been a tournament where we have done well and we would like to continue that. However, we will be just taking it one game at a time,” Fernandes signed off.
The Indian squad is as follows:
Goalkeepers: Aman Kumar Sharma, Mohit Singh, Ayush Deshwal.
Defenders: Paogoumang Singson, Shameek Caine Vas, Ranjan Soren, Amandeep, Pritam Meetei Sorokhaibam, Anish Mazumder, Halen Nongtdu.
Midfielders: Satvik Sharma, Sibajit Singh Leimapokam, Maheson Singh Tongbram, Renedy Meitei Yumnam, Aula Siba Prasad, Taison Singh Loitongbam, Ratanbi Singh Chaphamayum, Yoihenba Meitei Sukham, Amosa Lalnundanga.
Forwards: Himanshu Jangra, Sridarth Nongmeikapam, Shubho Paul, Isac Zomuanpuia.
Head Coach: Bibiano Fernandes.