Shillong, Jan 27: Meghalaya will play their first match of the Junior National Football Championship (Tier 1) for the Dr BC Roy Trophy against Haryana tomorrow at 4PM at the JN Stadium, Polo. Entry will be free for all spectators.

The championship will begin with two matches at 9:30AM. At Third Ground defending champions Mizoram will take on Goa in Group A, while Odisha will face Sports Authority of India in Group B at the JN Stadium. At 2PM Uttar Pradesh will go up against Delhi at Third Ground.

Sports & Youth Affairs Minister Banteidor Lyngdoh will grace the occasion of Meghalaya’s first match.

Speaking today at a press conference, Meghalaya coach Bobby Lyngdoh Nongbet said, “We have to take it one game at a time. Expectations are high as we are hosting the tournament. The Youth Development Cell of the Meghalaya Football Association conducted a comprehensive selection process around the state and the boys have worked hard.”

Nongbet has coached many of the boys in the team during the sub-junior nationals of past years and has seen those of the opposition as well coming up through the age categories.

“Haryana will have a height advantage of us and we can’t take them lightly. I am sure they will give us a good fight but our boys are also ready for the challenge,” the coach added.

Also at the press conference was Meghalaya captain Gladdy Kharbuli, who said, “We’ve practised as a team for a month and a half and we all know each other well now and will work hard to deliver. We are very happy to play the Dr BC Roy Trophy in our state and we need the public to come and cheer us to victory.”

Meghalaya squad: Teibokstar Lyngkhoi, Iohborlang Lyngdoh Lyngkhoi, Saveme Tariang, Henryford Nongneng, Teibokmi Lyngdoh, Tremiki Lamurong, Benjamin Diengdoh, Gladdy Kharbuli, Ioanis Suchen, Glennys Lynrah, Wadajied Kynsai Ryngkhlem, Jefferson Kharbuli, Hamedamanbha Wahlang, Sangti Janai Shianglong, Kenny Sangma, Arlangky Nongsiej, Kitborlang Kharpran, Pynkhraw Kupar Kharbuli, Gunguntyron Arengh, Wanteilang Malngiang

Officials: Bobby Lyngdoh Nongbet (coach), Kitbor Kharkongor (manager), Sushma Thapa (physio)

Tomorrow’s fixtures:
Group A (Third Ground) – Mizoram vs Goa (9:30AM); Uttar Pradesh vs Delhi (2PM)
Group C (JN Stadium) – Odisha vs Sports Authority of India (9:30AM); Haryana vs Meghalaya (4PM)

(Meghalaya Football Association photo. Meghalaya coach Bobby Lyngdoh Nongbet (left) and captain Gladdy Kharbuli)

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