I-League 2017: Indian Arrows announce 25-man squad
What's the story?
After a lot of huff and puff, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) has finally announced the 25-man squad for the Indian Arrows side. The team is set to play in the I-League and comprises of players from the recently concluded FIFA U17 World Cup and as many as six players from the Indian U-19 team. The Arrows will be managed by Luis Norton De Matos, whose struggle is well documented to get the right numbers for making this team.
In case you didn't know...
Managed by the Portuguese tactician, the Arrows recently played a part in AFC U19 Championship qualifiers in Saudi Arabia. The Colts played three games in the qualifiers, winning one and losing two along the way.
The heart of the matter
The Indian Arrows will be based in Goa and Delhi. While they will play their first two home games at the Bambolim Stadium in Goa, the rest of their home games will be played at the Ambedkar Stadium in New Delhi. The team features the U17 World Cup regulars such as Dheeraj Singh, Anwar Ali and Jeakson Singh, whereas the likes of Komal Thatal and Namit Deshpande have not made it into the final squad.
Indian Arrows' 25-man squad:
Goalkeepers: Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem, Sunny Dhaliwal, Prabhsukhan Singh Gill.
Defenders: Deepak Tangri, Ashish Rai, Boris Singh Thangjam, Sanjeev Stalin, Anwar Ali, Jitendra Singh, Naorem Roshan Singh, Sumit Rathi, Narender.
Midfielders: Abhishek Halder, Suresh Singh Wangjam, Amarjit Singh Kiyam, Rahul KP, Khumanthem Ninthoinganba Meetei, Nongdamba Naorem, Jeakson Singh Thounaojam, Namgyal Bhutia, Lalengmawia, Abhijit Sarkar.
Forwards: Edmund Lalrindika, Aniket Anil Jadhav, Rahim Ali.
The squad update has come on the day of the young side's first ever I-League game. The Arrows open their campaign today against Chennai City FC in Goa.
After the struggles of luring players away from their clubs, the board finally has a team ready for its pet project to be tested in the I-League. De Matos and the boys have a long way to go, but it is certain that regular playing time against the top sides of the country will make these teenagers ready for the tasks ahead.