The All India Football Federation (AIFF) announced the appointment of Clifford Miranda as the new India U-23 head coach on Thursday, August 3. An AIFF technical committee meeting, chaired by former India international I.M. Vijayan, named Miranda after extensive deliberation.
The said committee recommended Nallappan Mohanraj as the assistant coach, Raghuvir Khanwalkar as the goalkeeping coach and Gavin Elias Araujo as the fitness coach.
Clifford Miranda created history in April this year by becoming the first Indian coach to win a major trophy with an ISL club. In charge of Odisha FC, the former Indian midfielder guided the team to the Hero Super Cup by beating Bengaluru FC 2-1 in the final.
Miranda had a more than decent career for his country, playing for nine years from 2005 to 2014. The 41-year-old won two SAFF Championships, two Nehru Cup titles and an AFC Challenge Cup while representing the Blue Tigers. He was also a five-time NFL/I-League champion with Dempo SC at the club level.
AIFF Secretary General Dr Shaji Prabhakaran was thoroughly pleased with Miranda's appointment. In a statement, he said:
“Congratulations to Clifford for being selected as the head coach of the Indian men's U-23 national team, which will play in the AFC U-23 Asian Cup Qualifiers in China. Clifford did well to win the Super Cup for Odisha FC, and I'm sure we can expect a good performance from the Indian team.”
AIFF announces probables for AFC U-23 Asian Cup
The AIFF also announced a 28-member probable list for the AFC U-23 Asian Cup 2024 qualifiers on Thursday. India are placed against Maldives, United Arab Emirates, and hosts China PR in Group G of the qualifiers, which are scheduled to be held between September 6-12, 2023 in Dalian, China.
The preparatory camp is supposed to start in Bhubaneswar on August 12. The AFC Asian Cup will also act as the qualifier for the football event of the 2024 Olympics in Paris. India, who have not made it to the final event yet, will put their best foot forward while trying to do so.
AFC U23 Asian Cup Qatar 2024 Qualifiers probables list:
Goalkeepers: Sachin Suresh, Hrithik Tiwari, Prabhsukhan Singh Gill, Arsh Anwer Shaikh.
Defenders: Narender Gahlot, Hormipam Ruivah, Bikash Yumnam, Halen Nongtdu, Sanjeev Stalin, Sumit Rathi, Jitendra Singh, Abdul Rabeeh.
Midfielders: Thoiba Singh Moirangthem, Lalrinliana Hnamte, Jiteshwor Singh Yumkhaibam, Ayush Dev Chhetri, Vibin Mohanan, Brison Deuben Fernandes, Amarjit Singh Kiyam.
Forwards: Sourav K, Vikram Partap Singh, Parthib Gogoi, Rohit Danu, Ninthoinganba Meetei Khumanthem, Gurkirat Singh, Ayush Chhikara, Sivasakthi Narayanan, Suhail Ahmad Bhat.