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Questionable selections by Stephen Constantine as U-23 squad travels to Singapore

Written by: Punit Tripathi

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The team left for Singapore on Thursday, but there have been no real reasons in leaving the I-league regulars out. . . 

Stephen Constantine seems to be getting everything right these days. After leading the senior side to eight consecutive victories, the English manager has now taken the reins of the Indian National U-23 squad to prepare them for the AFC U-23 Championships to be held in September in Doha. 

Also Read: India U-23 set to play international friendlies against Singapore

Khel Now has, time and again, reported that some of the selections in Constantine's teams are logically confusing and sometimes, even meaningless. The 54-year-old had five left-backs in the senior squad at one point of time and has managed to pull off a coup this time again. 

The team is slated to take on some of the most talented squads in the continent in two months' time and the manager has left out I-league regulars like Chinglesana Singh Konsham and Isaac Vanlalsawma Chhakchhuak from Shillong Lajong FC, players who played all I-league games for their side and are regarded as top players in their positions as well as age-brackets by millions of Indian football fans.

There has been no report suggesting why these key names and certain future Indian flag-bearers have been left out of the squad by Constantine. The manager has also left out Lalramchullova, one who played a stellar role in Aizawl FC's victorious campaign this season.

It must be noted that Chinglesana has already made his senior team debut, and is regarded as one of the brightest Indian talents. Isaac has, also, slowly grown into the role of a No. 8, showcasing his ability to play as a deep-lying playmaker brilliantly in tandem with Japanese midfielder Yuta Kinowaki at the Lajong Stadium this I-league season. Isaac is also famous for his deadly set-pieces.

Also Read: India U-23 squad set to have exposure trip to the United States of America

It must be recalled that the team, who are set to play the AFC Asian U-23 Championship later this year, were set to travel to the United States of America as part of their continuing preparation for the tournament, but as happened with the senior team the tour was cancelled at the last minute. The team has been holding a training camp after nationwide trials in recent weeks, from which four new players were selected to be part of the group.

While the reasons behind the cancellation of the US tour are not known it is rumoured the team were unable to secure visas much like their senior compatriots. Nonetheless, they will be looking to make the most of the upcoming games against the South-east Asian powerhouse.

The 23-man-team:

Goalkeepers: Vishal Kaith, Sukhdev Patil, Kamaljit Singh

Defenders: Salam Ranjan Singh, Lalruatthara, Jerry Lalrinzuala, Davinder Singh, Nishu Kumar, Sairutkima, Sarthak Golui, Kamalpreet Singh

Midfielders: Anirudh Thapa, Nikhil Poojari, Nandha Kumar, Germanpreet Singh, Mawihmingthanga, Vinit Rai, Robinson Singh, Lallianzuala Chhangte

Forwards: Hitesh Sharma, Alen Deory, Manvir Singh, Daniel Lalhlimpuia

Published: Fri Jul 07, 2017 02:48 PM IST

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