Shillong, Aug 31: Two Meghalaya youngsters have been picked by the India U-16 men’s team head coach Ishfaq Ahmed in his squad to represent the nation at the SAFF U-16 Championship, which will be played in Thimphu, Bhutan, from 1st to 10th September.
The two are midfielder Manbhakupar Malngiang and forward Aiborlang Kharthangmaw.
Both are relatively unknown to TSR. All we know is that Malngiang was once with Bhaichung Bhutia Football Schools (Delhi) and Kharthangmaw is from Sreenidi Deccan FC’s youth set-up.
The Indian team has landed in the Himalayan kingdom and will play their first match on 2nd September against Bangladesh, with the kick-off set for 2:30PM IST, followed by their game against Nepal on 6th September.
The Blue Colts are in Group A alongside Nepal and Bangladesh. Hosts Bhutan, Maldives and Pakistan make up Group B. The top two teams from each group will qualify for the semifinals.
The training camp began in Srinagar in July with over 50 probables picked up after extensive scouting in five zones across the country – East, West, North, South and North East. The final list of 23 was chosen by Ahmed after over a month of training in Srinagar.
Goalkeepers: Rohit, Aheibam Suraj Singh, Arush Hari
Defenders: Ngariyambam Abhijit, Mohammed Kaif, Yaipharemba Chingakham, Usham Thoungamba, Vumlenlal Hangshing, Chingtham Renin Singh, Karish Soram
Midfielders: Newton Singh, Kangujam Yoihenba Meitei, Levis Zangminlun, Bobby Singh, Abdul Salha, Ngamgouhou Mate, Vishal Yadav, Manbhakupar Malngiang, Md Arbash
Forwards: Ningthoukhongjam Rishi Singh, Ahongshangbam Samson, Lairenjam Bharat, Airborlang Kharthangmaw
Coach: Ishfaq Ahmed
(All India Football Federation photo)