New Delhi: Indian national football team coach Stephen Constantine on Saturday called up players from local leagues and the Under-19 elite academy in the list of 40 probables for the SAFF Championship to be held in Thiruvananthapuram from December 23.
The initial list of 28 probables would be assembling at a preparatory camp in Kochi on December 9 with practice commencing the next day.
This is perhaps the first time in recent times where three players who haven't even donned a jersey for any I-League club have been summoned for the camp. Two of them have played for Army XI while the other, a present Calcutta University student, has played for Sports Authority of India (SAI) in the Calcutta Football League (CFL).
Jain Punchakadan, Arjun Tudu (both from Army XI), Koushik Sarkar (SAI, Kolkata) and Malswamzuala and Daniel Lalramzuava from All India Football Federation (AIFF) U-19 Academy were selected for the camp.
"We have selected a squad which encompasses all of Indian football -- right from state leagues, U-19 academy players, players from I-League and the Indian Super League (ISL). We are building a team for the future," Constantine said.
"In my first press conference in New Delhi, I had mentioned that we will be keeping a tab on all football players who play beyond the I-League and ISL. We are trying to expand our pool. Initially, 28 players will join us. With the ISL going on, it gives us an opportunity to call up those players that we would not have been able to work with."
The list of 40 probables:
Goalkeepers: Subrata Paul, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Karanjit Singh, Laxmikant Kattimani, Amrinder Singh.
Defenders: Aiborlang Khongjee, Lalchhuanmawia, Sandesh Jhingan, Koushik Sarkar, Robin Gurung, Arnab Mondal, Augustine Fernadnes, Rino Anto, Narayan Das, Pritam Kotal, Anas Edathodika.
Midfielders: Malswamzuala, Jain Punchakadan, Alwyn George, Rowin Borges, Cavin Lobo, Sanju Pradhan, Irom Seityasen Singh, Rowlin Borges, Eugeneson Lyngdoh, Francisco Fernandes, Mohammed Rafique, Bikash Jairu, Pronoy Halder, Romeo Fernandes, Sehnaj Singh.
Forwards: Daniel Lalramzuava, Arjun Tudu, Sunil Chhetri, Holicharan Narzary, Udanta Singh, Robin Singh, Jeje Lalpeklhua, Haokip, Sumeet Passi.