India gets ready for the Bhutan Test

After a 13 Day training camp in New Delhi, the Indian National Football team has reached Bhutan today. Carrying a Squad of 20 players, most of them first timers, Coach Stephen Constantine looked confident and wanted his team to acclimatize to the low temperatures of our high altitude neighbor. Talking to AIFF’s official website, Constantine stated that the team has four days to get accustomed to the climate and dealing with different climatic condition is a part of International football. At the end of the day, what matters is how you play. Lack of friendlies and limited pool of players has been few of the reasons for our national team’s lackluster performances in recent times. With Bengaluru FC and East Bengal FC not releasing their players for their respective ventures, Coach Constantine has grabbed this chance to extend his pool of players by bringing in new set of players.

Since the Planned USA tour could not be materialized, the Indian team is playing this unofficial friendly to get some match experience for their new players and check out their development, on the other hand Bhutan will be preparing for their 2019 Asian Cup qualifier game against Bangladesh. Currently ranked 192 and once regarded as the world’s worst football team, Bhutan has came a long way since then, beating Sri Lanka in the World Cup Qualifiers. Although the Indian team would be expected to win this, Bhutan could still spring surprises. Lacking regular team players and football season yet to start meant no competitive games for the last two-three months, and while Bhutan players have been playing in their league, Indian players could be caught napping. National Team coach, Stephen Constantine has done well to have kept a Pre-season training camp to get his players ready and gauge their abilities. A win on 13th August will go a long way in boosting the morale of players, but it is the september opponent that will help gauge the current situation of our National football team. Ranked 112 currently Puerto rico will be a real test for the young Indian players.

While most of the players have at least played one game, the keeping department may get a new face with either T.P Rehenesh or Laxmikant Kattimani getting the chance, while in the midfield too David Lalrinmuana, Chinglesana Konsham Singh, Isaac Chhakchhuak or Germanpreet Singh could be starting. The 20 man squad that has travelled to Bhutan is as follows:

GOALKEEPERS: Subrata Paul, T.P Rehenesh, Laxmikant Kattimani.

DEFENDERS: Sandesh Jhingan, Fluganco Cardozo, Chinglesana Konsham Singh, Aiborlang Khongjee, Koushik Sarkar.

MIDFIELDERS:  Isaac Chhakchhuak, Rowlin Borges, Dhanpal Ganesh, David Lalrinmuana, Vinit Rai, Germanpreet Singh, Pronoy Halder, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Jackichand Singh.

FORWARDS: Halicharan Narzary, Jeje Lalpekhlua, Sumeet Passi.

COACH: Stephen Constantine.

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