Injured Nandy, Manju left out of Portugal trip

July 1st, 2008 - 10:38 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 1 (IANS) Injuries to goalkeeper Sandip Nandy and defender N.S. Manju forced them out the 27-member Indian football squad that will leave for Portugal for a two week exposure-cum-training tour. Kuttimani and Rakesh Masih were the other two players who did not find a place in the 27-member squad which was picked from the 31 players attending the week-long national camp at the Ambedkar Stadium here. The team will leave for Portugal Wednesday night.

Chief coach Bob Houghton said Nandy and Manju have been given more time for recovery before the important AFC Challenge Cup later this month in Hyderabad. Kuttimani was left out because he did not have a passport.

“It is very important for us to give as many chances to the boys as we can. We will play three matches there against second division clubs apart from our training programme. The advantage of playing club teams is that we can have as many substitutes as we can, which will give the boys more opportunity,” Houghton said.

The clubs have not been identified yet and according to All India Football Federation sources it has been left to the chief coach to choose the clubs once the team reaches Portugal.

Defender Gawli felt that the Portugal trip will help the Indian team put up a good show at the AFC Challenge Cup which will have some tough opponents.

“Last year before the Nehru Cup we went on a similar tour to Portugal and it really helped us in lifting the title. They are among the top teams in the world and their training structure helped us. This time hopefully we will benefit again.”

The squad:
Goalkeepers: Arindam Bhattacharya, Subhashish Roy Chowdhary, Subrata Paul
Defenders: Govin Mojranginem, Denzil Franco, Surkumar Singh, Mahesh Gawli, Gouramangi Singh, Deepak Mondal, Anwar, Syed Rahim Nabi and Sameer Naik.
Midfielders: Baldeep Singh (Jr), Steven Dias, Climax Lawrence, N.P. Pradeep, Clifford Miranda, Bungo Singh, Ajayan Nair, Mehrajuddin Wadoo and Renedy Singh.
Forwards: Baichung Bhutia, Sunil Chhetri, Manjit Singh, Abhishek Yadav, Sushil Singh and Tarif Ahmed.

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