Derrick Pereira named coach of India U-23 football team
New Delhi, Feb 13 (PTI) Derrick Pereira was Wednesday named head coach of the India U-23 team for the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Qualifiers slated to be held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan from March 22.
Besides India, the other teams in the group are Tajikistan and Pakistan.
Pereira, who is the technical director of Indian Super League (ISL) club FC Goa, will be in charge of the preparatory camp in Goa which kicks-off from March 2.
"The team will also be playing a friendly match against Qatar U-23 National side in Doha on March 11," the All India Football Federation said.
AIFF General Secretary Mr. Kushal Das congratulated Derrick and said his experience will be invaluable for the U-23 team.
"His coaching pedigree along with AFC Pro Licence degree is the perfect recipe to guide our young players in the AFC U-23 qualifiers. We aim to qualify from the group to the AFC Championship next year, and I wish him and the team good luck," Das said.
Pereira said it was an honour to be associated to with the national team.
"I know most of the players and have seen them in action. But we need to find the right combination to perform and achieve the desired results," he stated.
National Team Director Abhishek Yadav, also a former Indian captain, said: The experience of Derrick Pereira as a coach will be important for our team. The preparatory camp will be followed by a practice match against Qatar U-23 which will be a huge test."
Pereira stressed the challenge against Qatar will be "tough".
"They are a quality side. I have a feeling that some of the U-23 boys from Qatar will be in their 2022 World Cup squad. It will be a tough challenge which will help us prepare for future assignments," he explained.
The list of probables are as follows:
GOALKEEPERS: Mohammed Nawaz, Prabhsukhan Gill, Arshdeep Singh, Dheeraj Singh.
DEFENDERS: Nishu Kumar, Kamalpreet Singh, Provat Lakra, Boris Singh, Sajid Dhot, Sairuatkima, Sarthak Golui, Sahil Panwar, Gaurav Bora, Narender Gahlot, Mehtab Singh, Anwar Ali, Wung Muirang, Asish Rai, Jerry Lalrinzuala.
MIDFIELDERS: Liston Colaco, Lalianzuala Chhangte, Ashique Kuruniyan, Vinit Rai, Anirudh Thapa, Sahal Abdul, Amarjit Singh, Deepak Tangri, Rohit Kumar, Suresh Singh, Komal Thatal, Rahul KP.
FORWARDS: Daniel Lalhlimpuia, Hitesh Sharma, Rahim Ali, Samuel Lalmuanpuia, Rohit Danu, Jerry Mawihminthanga.
India's fixtures at the AFC U-23 Qualifiers are as follows:
March 22: Tajikistan vs India.
March 24: India vs Uzbekistan.
March 26: India vs Pakistan