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54 Under-23 players called up for India’s 2014 Asian Games preparations

The AIFF has called up 54 Under-23 players for the 2014 Asian Games preparations, Sportskeeda can reveal. The probables list and the plan ahead for the Asian Games, which will be held in Incheon, South Korea between September 18 to October 4, was sent out to all the clubs on Thursday.

Those 54 players and the five seniors -  Balwant Singh, Sunil Chhetri, Victorino Fernandes, Robin Singh and Francis Fernandes – will first be part of a three-week training camp in Bangalore starting from July 1.

After that they will head for a two-week exposure tour to Spain. Their base will be in Marbella, southern Spain, and three practice matches have been lined up. The team will return to India in August and have another two-week training camp in Bangalore from the second week of August.

From the last week of August, they will have another exposure trip either in China, Japan or South Korea and after that they will head for the tournament.

The big names in the Under-23 list include India internationals Narayan Das, Lalrindika Ralte, Alwyn George and Jeje Lalpekhlua. Sporting Clube have the maximum representation with nine players while Dempo have eight. Mohammedan Sporting are the only club from the 2013-14 I-League who don’t have any player in list.

The final squad will have 23 players including three seniors from the list of five. Although 16 players have been listed under the forward category, most of them are wingers or wide midfielders. With three of the five seniors being centre-forwards, most of the young strikers don’t stand much of a chance of making the final 23.

Interestingly central defender Sandesh Jhingan is the only IMG-Reliance contracted player among the probables. The Indian Super League will also start in September so Jhingan could be unavailable for the first month of the 10-week tournament.

India senior team coach Wim Koevermans will be in charge of this U-23 outfit also and the Dutchman will be assisted by AIFF academies instructor Scott O’Donnell

The Under-23 probables

Goalkeepers

Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (Unattached), Amrinder Singh (Pune FC), Jayanta Paul (United SC), Ravi Kumar (Sporting Clube), Melroy Fernandes (Sporting Clube), Lalthuammawia Ralte (Shillong Lajong), Albino Giovanni Gomes (Salgaocar), Kamaljit Singh (India U-19)

Defenders

Pritam Kotal (Mohun Bagan), Prabir Das (Dempo), Abhishek Das (East Bengal), Keenan Almeida (Sporting Clube), Satish Singh (Churchill Brothers), Deepak Devrani (Sporting Clube), Joyner Laurenco (Sporting Clube), Pawan Kumar (India U-19), Nim Dorjee Tamang (India U-19), Shankar Sampingiraj (Bengaluru FC), Sandesh Jhingan (IMG-Reliance), Sanjay Balmuchu (Churchill Brothers), Salam Ranjan Singh (Pune FC), Soraisam Sandeep Singh (Shillong Lajong), Narayan Das (Dempo), Shouvik Ghosh (Mohun Bagan), Vishal Kumar (Bengaluru FC)

Midfielders

Lalrindika Ralte (East Bengal), Milan Singh (Shillong Lajong), Dhanpal Ganesh (Pune FC), Lalrempuia Fanai (Pune FC), Germanpreet Singh (India U-19), Siam Hanghal (Bengaluru FC), Velito Cruz (Sporting Clube), Pronoy Halder (Dempo), Rowlin Borges (Sporting Clube), Clifton Dias (Salgaocar), Souvik Chakraborty (United SC), Souvik Das (India U-19)

Forwards

Alesh Sawant (Churchill Brothers), Mandar Desai (Dempo), Brian Mascarenhas (Salgaocar), Alen Deory (India U-19), Thongkhosiem Haokip (Pune FC), Lalnunpuia Tlau (Rangdajied United), Holicharan Narzary (Dempo), Rajinder Kumar (United SC), Jeje Lalpekhlua (Dempo), Mauvin Borges (Sporting Clube), Kumam Udanta Singh (Bengaluru FC), Romeo Fernandes (Dempo), Stephen Barreto (Sporting Clube), Redeem Tlang (Shillong Lajong), Semilen Doungel (Shillong Lajong), Manish Bhargav (Mohun Bagan), Alwyn George (Dempo)

Seniors

Balwant Singh (Churchill Brothers), Sunil Chhetri (Bengaluru FC), Victorino Fernandes (Sporting Clube), Robin Singh (Bengaluru FC), Francis Fernandes (Salgaocar)

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