U17 star Komal Thatal dropped from India squad for AFC U19 Championship Qualifiers
What's the story?
The India U19 team are heading to the UAE today for their final round of preparations ahead of the AFC U19 Championship qualifiers starting next month and in a surprising development, coach Luis Norton de Matos has dropped three star Indian U17 players who featured at the FIFA U17 World Cup, including Komal Thatal.
In case you didn't know...
The India U17s have now become part of the India U19 setup as part of the preparation for next year's AFC U19 Championship finals in Indonesia next year. 17 players who were part of India's squad for the FIFA U17 World Cup 2017 were picked up in the preliminary squad, which has now been trimmed.
The heart of the matter
Here is the 23-member India U19 team which will head to Saudi Arabia to take on Yemen and Turkmenistan apart from the hosts, according to the good folks at @IFTWC.
Goalkeepers: Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem. Prabhsukhan Singh Gill, Mohammad Nawaz
Defenders: Boris Singh Thangjam, Jitendra Singh, Sanjeev Stalin, Anwar Ali, Sahil Panwar, Deepak Tangri, Namgyal Bhutia, Asish Rai
Midfielders: Suresh Singh Wangjam, Ninthoinganba Meetei, Amarjit Singh, Jeakson Singh, Nongdamba Naorem, Rahul Kannoly, Roshan Singh, Abhishek Halder, Princeton Rebello
Forwards: Rahim Ali, Lalawmpuia, Edmund
Thatal's exclusion comes as a big surprise, so are the exclusions of Sarkar and Jadhav. All three of them played pivotal attacking roles for the Colts at the U17 World Cup but coach De Matos didn't fancy them in his latest squad. This comes as a big setback to the players after they were summoned to the camp.
While Thatal's exclusion from India's lineup at the U17 World Cup after their opening day 3-0 loss to the USA left his fans surprised, this latest snub by De Matos could even spell the end of the road for the player who has been touted for big things. He was closely monitored by Manchester United scouts at the U17 World Cup but was never given a second chance, and the pattern is set to continue.