New Delhi: As part of preparations for the upcoming Asian Games in Incheon, All India Football Federation has arranged for two exposure tours to Czech Republic and China for the Indian men`s U-23 team.
The squad of 30 is presently training in Bangalore under national coach Wim Koevermans in the camp that kicked off on July 1.
A 25-member squad will be leaving for a tour to Czech Republic on July 21 and return on August 8. The Indian squad will play three matches during the period against three different clubs -- Senco Doubravka, FK Most and TJ Domazlice. The team will be based in Pilsen.
After Czech Republic, the squad will also be travelling to China for another exposure tour from August 25-September 8, and from there the squad will be leaving directly for Korea.
Kushal Das, General Secretary, AIFF felt the tours will help the team prepare better for the Games.
"All India Football Federation believes in providing the best of facilities to all Teams and hence, we have organised back-to-back Exposure Tours for the India`s Asian Games squad for them to prepare in the best possible fashion," he said.
Koevermans stated it was important that the boys "adapt playing against different styles".
"The boys need to play against different styles, learn about strong opposition and build on from there," he added.
The Indian squad will be playing two matches in China, against Shanghai FC and JiangSu Shun Tian.
Sunil Chhetri, Robin Singh and Francis Fernandes are the three senior players who have been named in the squad. The rest of the squad comprise of U-23 Players.
The 30-member squad presently training in the camp in Bangalore is as follows:
GOALKEEPERS: Amrinder Singh, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Ravi Kumar, Kamaljit Singh.
DEFENDERS: Pritam Kotal, Keenan Almeida, Deepak Devrani, Joyner Lourenco, Shankar Sampingiraj, Sandesh Jhingan, Sanjay Balmuchu, Salam Singh, Narayan Das, Shouvik Ghosh.
MIDFIELDERS: Pronoy Halder, Rowlin Borges, Clifton Dias, Alwyn George, Siam Hangal, Lalrindika Ralte, Dhanpal Ganesh, Milan Singh.
FORWARDS: Francis Fernandes (Senior Player), Romeo Fernandez, Seiminlen Doungel, Sunil Chhetri (Senior Player), Robin Singh (Senior Player), Haokip Thongkoshim, Alesh Sawant, Mandar Rao Desai.
Cricket is a religion in India but we will grow very fast and we will go a long way. I am happy to be playing with some of the best Indian players in ISL.