A 23-member India U-16 national team departed to participate in the SAFF U-15 Championships in Nepal today. The squad will train for two days before playing its first match in the tournament on August 19.
The opening encounter on August 19 is against Maldives while their next opponent is the hosts Nepal on August 23. The top two teams from the two groups qualify for the semifinals.
Head Coach Bibiano Fernandes, informed that the entire squad is “looking forward to the tournament.”
“The team is all prepared to face the challenges in the SAFF Championships. This will be a perfect practice for the AFC U-16 Championship Qualifiers,” he said.
“The tournament will help us strategise and know our strengths and weaknesses. We’ve played well in our practice games but competitive matches are always a different scenario,” he added. “But I’ve full faith that my boys will deliver.”
Bibiano, also said stated that he “will miss Dhanu”.
“He was the captain of the side and very important part of the team, but he is now contributing to a greater cause (FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017),” he added.
“As I’ve said it’s a good test for the players, plus we face Nepal who are also there in our AFC Qualifiers group. We will pay special attention to them. Even Bangladesh in Group A is a strong side.”
INDIA U-16 SQUAD
Lalbiakhlua Jongte, Niraj Kumar, Manik Baliyan
Sandip Mandi, Shabas Ahammed, Gurkirat Singh, Harpreet Singh, Samir Kerketta, Moirangthem Thoiba Singh, Lalrokima
Lalchhanhima Sailo, Eric Remruatpuia Chhangte, Givson Singh Moirangthem, Aenam Graffenberg Jyrwa, Ricky John Shabong, Ravi Bahadur Rana
Bekey Oram, Vikram Partap Singh, Harpreet, Ridge Melvin Demello, Shanon, Aleixinho Viegas, Adarsh Rai Das, Subungsa Basumatary