August 16, 2021 8:09:04 pm
Kolkata’s first national football camp in 15 years began at VYBK on Monday with 23 out of 34 players signing in after presenting the RTPC-R report for the Covid-19 test. The camp is for the forthcoming international friendlies.
The last time Kolkata hosted a camp was in 2006 for the World Cup Qualifier against Saudi Arabia.
“It’s a nice feeling for all of us to assemble for the camp. The target is to get ready in our quest to qualify for the AFC Asian Cup China 2023. There is a roadmap and we are confident of making it,” midfielder Anirudh Thapa told the AIFF website.
The camp, under a bio bubble, is being held for the first time during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“It was intense but we’re all ready. The focus is to qualify for Asian Cup and there are no shortcuts,” defender Rahul Bheke said.
Seriton Fernandes, Ashish Rai, Rahul KP and Rahim Ali are the first-timers. Rahul was named earlier after his stupendous show in the 2017 World Cup for Under-17 but could not attend due to injuries.
11 more who are doing the club duties will join after a week. All are representing Bengaluru FC and ATK Mohun Bagan in the Group D matches of the AFC Cup in the Maldives.
On the first day, the campers had a fitness session in the morning and Akash Mishra struck the winner against IFA XI in the exhibition match held in the evening.
GOALKEEPERS 2: Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem, Vishal Kaith.
DEFENDERS 8: Ashish Rai, Seriton Fernandes, Rahul Bheke, Adil Khan, Chinglensana Singh, Narender, Akash Mishra, Mandar Rao Dessai.
MIDFIELDERS 10: Bipin Singh, Brandon Fernandes, Lalengmawia, Glan Martins, Jeakson Singh, Pronay Halder, Anirudh Thapa, Sahal Abdul Samad, Yasir Mohammed, Halicharan Narzary.
FORWARDS 3: Rahul KP, Farukh Choudhary, Ishan Pandita, Rahim Ali.
Players expected to join the camp after their AFC Cup duties:
GOALKEEPERS 2: Amrinder Singh, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu.
DEFENDERS 3: Pritam Kotal, Ashutosh Mehta, Subhasish Bose.
MIDFIELDERS 3: Udanta Singh, Suresh Singh Wangjam, Ashqiue Kuruniyan.
FORWARDS 3: Liston Colaco, Manvir Singh, Sunil Chhetri.