Shillong, Jan 11: Three Meghalaya boys – (from left) Lionel Daryl Rymmei, Emboklang Nongkhlaw and Halen Nongtdu – have been included in the Indian U-16 boys national football team that will play four exposure matches in United Arab Emirates from 15th January as part of their preparations for the AFC U-16 Championship.

The AFC U-16 Championship is slated to be held in Bahrain later this year, with the India U-16 lads having qualified on an emphatic note, scoring 11 goals and conceding just one to finish top of their group after three qualification matches.

Having been training at the AIFF Elite Academy in Goa since December, the colts will first face-off against Al Hamriyah FC at the Al Hamriyah Sports Club in Sharjah.

Following that, the U-16 lads are slated to play another match against Sharjah FC, before facing the UAE U-16 National Team in two friendly matches.

India U-16 Team’s Head Coach Bibiano Fernandes highlighted the importance of playing competitive matches, which are designed to get the boys match-fit in order to compete in the AFC U-16 Championship, where they have been drawn against the likes of the South Korea, Australia and Uzbekistan.

“It’s great to be back playing football once again. We have been training for a few weeks in Goa, and have played a few friendlies against local teams as well. But we need to get these boys up and running for the AFC U-16 Championship, and the exposure matches that they will play in the UAE will be crucial for that,” said Bibiano Fernandes. “As we know, UAE are one of the stronger countries in Asian football, and playing two matches against their U-16 team will give the boys a good look into what it will take to compete against the best in Asia and move forward together.”

vs Al Hamriyah FC (at the Al Hamriyah Sports Club), 15th January
vs Sharjah FC (at the Sharjah Football Stadium), 18th January
vs UAE U-16 (at the UAE FA Stadium), 21st January
vs UAE U-16 (at the UAE FA Stadium), 24th January

Goalkeepers: Aman Kumar Sahani, Som Kumar, Lionel Daryl Rymmei
Defenders: Anish Mazumder, Halen Nongtdu, Singson Paogoumang, Amandeep, Pritam Meetei Sorokhaibam, Abhishek Singh Tekcham, Shameek Caine Vas
Midfielders: Satvik Sharma, Lalremtluanga Fanai, Maheson Singh Tongbram, Ranjan Soren, Ebindas Yesudasan, Taison Singh Loitongbam, Aula Siba Prasad, Sibajit Singh Leimapokpam, Emboklang Nongkhlaw
Forwards: Shubho Paul, Suhail Ahmad Bhat, Sridarth Nongmeikapam, Himanshu Jangra

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